Kathmandu, October 11
Sixty-one year old Tek Nath Gautam, who retired as a temporary teacher after 36 years of service on March 8, is fighting for justice with the government.
Although a committee formed by the Ministry of Education in 2004 had recommended to the government to give him and some other temporary teachers permanent status, dillydallying on the part of government officials forced him to retire as a temporary teacher. Gautam was a temporary teacher at Baraha Higher Secondary School in Dhital VDC-1, Kaski.
Gautam, a resident of Pokhara, taught in several government secondary schools as geography, agriculture and education teacher for 36 years before retiring due to age limit.
“I served as a teacher for 36 years, but the government did not recognise my service to the country,” he said.
According to Gautam, he was not given a permanent status during the Panchayat era as he had been advocating for multiparty democracy. After the advent of multiparty democracy in 1990, the new government decided to give permanent status to all temporary teachers who had completed one year of service by December 1991.
Gautam had joined Baraha Secondary School, Bhindabari, Kaski, as lower secondary teacher in August 30, 1978 and was promoted to secondary teacher on March 17, 1982. But he says he was not given permanent status due to the vested interests of some of the members of the selection committee in1992.
In 2004 too, a committee was formed under the coordination of Maheshwor Sharma Poudel, then joint secretary of Ministry of Education. The committee submitted its report in December 2 same year and recommended to the government to give permanent status to temporary teachers such as Gautam, who had been left out in the promotions in 1992.
“As per the report, I am eligible for the permanent post, which would entitle me to pension after retirement. But negligence of the government officers has cost me dearly,” said Gautam.
Gautam has lodged complaints at the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Education, National Human Rights Commission and Office of International Labour Organisation seeking justice.
“We are the real patriots who fought for multiparty democracy in 1990 and second Jana
Andolan in 2004 but the state has failed to recognise our contribution,” he said.
Stating that he has been fighting for permanent status to temporary teachers since 1998, he said, “I will continue fighting for justice till I die,” he said.
On condition of anonymity, an officer at the Prime Minister’s Office said that a few months back they were trying to table the proposal for giving permanent status to Gautam and a few others in the Cabinet a few months back, but the issue has been given very low priority.
A version of this article appears in print on October 11, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.