‘Madhes agitation may upset academic calendar’

Kathmandu, December 24

With most schools in the Tarai districts shut for the past four months due to the ongoing Tarai-Madhes agitation, educationists have warned that continued strikes might upset the academic calendar.

According to a source, the schools in Tarai districts have failed to run classes for even a minimum of 192 days as required by existing educational provisions.

The white paper issued by Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel on November 24, states that around 3.76 million children students of 20 protest-hit districts have been affected by the closure of schools. It also states that the closure of schools violated the Convention on Child Rights, 1989.

Khagraj Baral, director general of the Department of Education, said closure of schools in protest-hit Tarai districts may lead students to quit their studies altogether.

The protest may also affect educational regulations that require a total 192 days of learning and teaching activities and 70 percent class attendance of students in an academic session.

According to a study carried out by Children as Zone of Peace and Education Journalists Group, although classes in the protest-affected districts are being conducted in the morning, children are finding it hard to make it to schools due to increasing cold.