Implementing academic calendar almost impossible in Tarai

KATHMANDU: With most schools in the Tarai districts remaining shut for the past four months due to the Tarai-Madhes agitation, concerned authorities have warned that there would be difficulties to maintain this year’s academic calendar.

According to a source, very few percentage of the required class attendance has been maintained so far by children in the protest-hit districts against the existing educational provisions that requires 192 days of teaching and learning activities in an academic session and 134 days class attendance of children.

The white paper issued by Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel on November 24 states that around 3.76 million children of 20 protest-stricken districts have been affected by the closure of schools for long.

Moreover, the protest has violated the act of the government to declare schools zones of peace and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.

Khagaraj Baral, Director General of the Department of Education, said that the closure of schools in protest-hit Tarai districts for long may bring failure in the academic calendar and crisis in teaching-learning activities.

The protests may also affect educational regulations that require the total 192 days of learning and teaching activities and 70 per cent class attendance of students in an academic session.

As a result, the rate of drop out or quitting schools may increase as well.

According to a study carried out by Children as Zone of Peace and Education Journalists Group, although classes in the protest-affected districts are being conducted in the morning, the practice has failed to yield expected results as children are finding it hard to make it to schools due to various reasons including increasing cold among others.