Nepal | October 19, 2019

Schools far from becoming peace zones

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, December 24

Although the government had issued directives to implement the framework of ‘School as a Zone of Peace’ through the Educational Directory and Regulation 2011 (2068), schools and educational institutions throughout the country still remain to become ‘peace zones’.

Schools in the country are often closed during strikes, and have become targets of terrorist attacks in the past, severely affecting academics.

According to a survey report of the National Coalition for Children as Zones of Peace and Child Protection, during the Maoist insurgency, about 442 students and 145 teachers throughout the country lost their lives, at least 554 students were injured, more than 4,000 students were displaced from their original places, and more than 10,000 children were used as child labour.

Chief of the CZOPP Krishna Subedi said students have been used to push political agendas by their own teachers, by student unions, and school administrations. “Many political groups target schools and schoolchildren to get their demands adressed.”

This has not only hampered academics, but also affected students’ psychology.

“Natural calamities and continuing political and social conflicts have badly affected students’ mental health, which is reflected directly or indirectly in their behaviour,” Subedi said.

As per the rule, schools must run at least 200 days and classes must be held at least 192 days a year, but schools run for much less days in the country.

According to a survey conducted by Educational Journalists Group Nepal in 2015, more than 145 incidents in a span of six months had occurred that had directly affected school education. Nearly 105 public schools and more than 20 private and boarding school have been closed in 2015.

Students Unions, teachers, parents, administrative bodies at schools, locals and local agencies, teacher and school organisations often disrupt academic sessions for their own agendas.

“Our college often was shut without any information by agitating groups or parties,” said Madan Nepal, a student at Ratna Rajya Campus. Nepal said that multiple strikes had badly affected classes and education.

A version of this article appears in print on December 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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