Kathmandu, March 26
Schools are regarded as ‘peace zones’ by everyone, but they inadvertently become vulnerable to attacks whenever there is a tussle between the government and groups that are unhappy with the state.
The schools have once again become such a target, as the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal has called a nationwide strike on Saturday, the day when Grade X students will have to appear for Grade X board examination.
Office of the Examination Controller under National Examinations Board, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology have clearly said that the SEE scheduled for Saturday will not be postponed. This will create difficulty for students to travel to exam centres, many of whom stay awake till wee hours to prepare for the test. Students will appear in the examination of compulsory subject Health, Population and Environment and Sanskrit on Saturday.
“We strongly condemn the call of national strike as it will affect the performance of students preparing for the board examination the whole year,” said Keshab Puri, chairman of Guardian Association of Nepal, requesting the Chand-led CPN to call off the strike.
Similar appeal was made by Ritu Raj Sapkota president of National Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation. He said, “We frequently hear verbal commitment of all the political leaders to accept school as peace zones, but their action never prove so.”
The statement issued by the Chand-led CPN has mentioned that national strike was deliberately called on Saturday so as not to hamper the SEE examination. But, unlike previous years the government authorities had already scheduled the examination for that day, even when it is a public holiday.
Examination Controller Bishnu Prasad Adhikari said, “Since we had declared holiday today to provide the children more time to prepare for the examination of mathematics, we decided to take exam on Saturday as a fulfilment of today’s holiday.” Nepali students normally find mathematics difficult.
There has been increased tension between government and the Chand-led CPN for the past some time. The government has recently put a ban on the party and its activities after the party owned Ncell bombing at Nakkhu and torching of Ncell towers throughout the country.
A version of this article appears in print on March 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.