Public college teachers on relay hunger strike

Kathmandu, March 29:

Professors, campus chiefs and people associated with the Public Campus Teachers’ Association-Nepal have been on a relay hunger strike at Ratnapark for the past three days to press the government for the establishment of a separate public university.

Teachers, campus chiefs and officials of the campus management committees in all the 14 zones have been taking part in the protest. Everyday representatives from two zones stage hunger strike for 24 hours.

Bhola Nath Regmi, senior vice-president of PUCTA, told this daily that the representatives from Dhaulagiri and Koshi zones were on hunger strike today. “The participation in our protest has been increasing daily. Some friends from outside the valley couldn’t arrive here to join the programme because of traffic obstruction at different parts of Tarai,” he added.

The PUCTA, which has 216 colleges under its umbrella, has been demanding the establishment of public university by incorporating all public colleges and the guarantee of services and facilities for the teachers. The hunger strike began on Friday as a part of their second-phase protest.

In the first phase of their protest, they staged a sit-in before the Ministry of Education and performed their duties by tying black bands on their arms.

According to Regmi, the hunger strike would continue till Thursday. “Though everyone is positive on our demands, the education ministry is delaying the process. The hunger strike has been organised to remind the ministry of our demands,” he added. Regmi also warned of further protests if their demands were not addressed at the earliest. “Even students are keen to take to the streets for our cause,” he said. “If the government continued to ignore our demands, we won’t be able to stop them,” he added.