Closure of schools affects 25,000 students in Ilam

Himalayan News Service

Ilam, April 27:

Even though the new academic session began half-a-month ago, the private and boarding schools in the district have not opened. The continued closure of these schools has affected 25,000 students and 700 teachers. While the private and community-run schools remain closed in rural areas of the district, schools in urban areas have not opened up for new admissions.

“The principals and guardians are for the continuation of classes, but the schools are not ready,” the district president of the Private and Boarding Schools Organisation of Nepal (PABSON), Milan Chand Sanyasi, said. According to a statistics of the previous academic year, of the 83,220 students, 24,966 studied in private schools. “Half of them are estimated to have joined the government schools this year,” the concerned headmasters said, adding that the government schools are facing a shortage of manpower and other resources. According to the PABSON, a dozen private schools in the district have announced closure. There are 68 private schools in Ilam.

Meanwhile, a report from Chitwan said the Maoists were urged to withdraw the strike imposed on private and boarding schools immediately. The Chitwan chapter of the Private and Boarding School Organisation of Nepal (PABSON) organised an hour-long sit-in at Pulchwok, Narayangarh.

Teachers, students and representatives of different organisations had taken part in the sit-in.

Meanwhile, the president of PABSON (Chitwan), Lekhnath Khanal, said that a rally will be organised in the near future to put pressure on the Maoists to end the strike imposed on schools.

The PABSON organised a sit-in at the District Education Office and a rally at Narayangadh yesterday too, he said. The bandh called by the Maoist-aligned All-Nepal National Independent Union-Revolutionary has affected 40,000 students in the district.

Another report from Rajbiraj said private schools in Saptari district will reopen from tomorrow, the president of PABSON (Saptari), Kumar Pathak, said. The schools were closed after the supporters of the All-Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) stuck notices, demanding that the schools be closed. Meanwhile, the PABSON (Panchathar) has requested human rights organisations and civic society to help create a conducive environment for running schools in the district.

In Kathmandu, the teachers engaged in all campuses affiliated to various universities and research centres across the country today staged “pen down strikes”, demanding an immediate and unconditional release of university teachers, including president of Nepal University Teachers’ Association (NUTA) Bhupati Dhakal “Kamal” and former NUTA president Bhimsen Das Pradhan, from preventive detention, a press statement issued by NUTA stated.