Nepal | January 18, 2020

Temp teachers knocking doors of top leaders

Rupesh Acharya

Kathmandu, 19 December

Temporary teachers, in their bid to become permanent teaching staff in community schools, have started lobbying with political leaders to amend the Education Act (eighth amendment) that came into force seven months ago.

According to Nirendra Kunwar, president of Temporary Teachers Struggle Committee, they have met once with the chairmen of top three political parties regarding their demands.

“But, the political turmoil after Tihar, has become a hurdle for them,” Kuwar said.

After their meeting with Prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the education ministry had formed a committee led by Hari Lamsal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Education to talk with teachers. The committee met twice but the meeting ended inconclusively.

The new move of temporary teacher has come after the Education Ministry gave the final answer that nothing could be done once it was decided by the Parliament. Rather than addressing their issues, the ministry is focusing on bringing the Education Regulation, formulated to implement the act.

The regulation draft is now with Ministry of Finance.

Addressing the teachers’ demands, the amended act gave them an option — either to fight for permanent status or opt for the golden handshake.

“We want golden handshake only if any one of us fails in the exam taken by the Teachers’ Service Commission for permanent staus,” said Kuwar.

Temporary teachers have also disagreed with the provision that only seven years of their service tenure will be taken into account.

According to data published by Department of Education, there are 26,151 temporary teacher in community schools. They hit the street more than a decade demanding internal competition to become permanent. The act allows the Teachers’ Service Commission 50 percent internal seats.

“We failed to make members of Parliament realise the crux of our problem when they were discussing the education bill in Parliament. So now, we feel we need to convince the top leaders to achieve what we want,” Kuwar said.

He also said that the government must act as per the February 7, 2010 verdict of the Supreme Court and a remainder on June 30, 2016.

A version of this article appears in print on December 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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