Kathmandu, November 3
Minister for Education Giriraj Mani Pokharel today said schools should not waste an entire academic session on the pretext of Tarai agitation.
Speaking at a press meet organised by the Ministry of Education before leaving for Paris to attend an educational conference today, Pokharel said the ministry was very concerned about closure of schools in the Tarai.
“We have requested the agitating Madhes-based political parties not to disrupt academic activities. We have also asked the teachers not to put the future of students at stake by participating in protests instead of carrying out their duties,” he said, adding that schools should run classes for at least 220 days during an academic session. He also said that the unrest in Tarai would be resolved soon through dialogue with the agitating parties.
National Human Rights Commission had released a report on November 1 after conducting a study in 28 districts affected by the ongoing agitation in the Tarai. The report stated that children were deprived of their right to education in most of the Tarai districts.
It said some schools had partially opened in districts such as Ilam, Dhankuta, Siraha, Mahottari, Bara, Rupendehi, Baglung and Dang, while in some districts the teachers of community schools were found involved in protest activities.
Out of 122 school days, schools had opened for only five days in Parsa, the report said, adding the chief district officers in most of the Tarai districts had asked schools not to resume classes due to security threats.
NHRC has urged the government to create conditions for resumption of classes in schools and to take action against teachers involved in protest activities.
“We have asked the agitating political parties to allow schools to run classes from 6 am to 11 am,” minister Pokharel said, adding, “The ongoing crisis in the Tarai might be resolved between Dipawali and Chhath festivals.”
He further said that the government doesn’t want any disturbance during the School Leaving Certificate examinations.
Regarding closure of schools in the Kathmandu Valley due to shortage of petroleum products, Pokharel said the ministry had taken initiatives to distribute fuel to academic institutions.
A version of this article appears in print on November 04, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.