Kathmandu, February 18
Following the ninth amendment to the Education Act, additional 7,500 temporary teachers, who were about to accept the golden handshake have now changed their mind and are preparing to take the exam to be conducted by Teachers Service Commission for permanent status.
According to the TSC’s Administrative Director Tulasi Prasad Thapalia, the number of teachers who had applied for the test stood at around 15,000 earlier. “Additional 7,500 teachers have filled forms to take the examination following the ninth amendment to the Education Act,” he said. The amendment provisions golden handshake to temporary teachers even if they fail the TSC exam.
Previously, the eighth amendment of the act allowed temporary teachers to either sit for the TSC test or accept the golden handshake. The ninth amendment envisions fulfilling 75 per cent of vacancies in public schools through internal examination. The ninth amendment to the act was passed on September 19 by the then legislature parliament amid strong objection from some lawmakers representing the opposition as well as ruling parties.
As per the data provided by Department of the Education, there are 22,076 temporary teachers in community schools across the country.
The passage of the bill, which was introduced to address the demands put forth by agitating temporary teachers, shuts the door on more than 700,000 teaching licence holders to community schools.
Former head teacher of Gyanodaya Higher Secondary School Dhananjaya Adhikari told The Himalayan Times that the amendment had stopped fresh graduates from joining teaching career at least for a decade. “Most of the temporary teachers have failed the TSC exam repeatedly, but they too are hopeful of getting permanent status,” he added. He also said the ninth amendment had deprived children of their right to be taught by qualified teachers.
Thapalia, however, argued that a few temporary teachers could get through the exam because they must secure minimum 40 per cent of the total marks for permanent status. “We still have more than 5,000 vacancies of teachers,” he said. He also said that once the demand of temporary teachers was addressed, all vacancies created after that would be fulfilled through open competition.
A version of this article appears in print on February 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.