Kids enroll in Indian schools after Maoist threat

Surendra Kafle

Nepalgunj, April 18:

Maoist threat to shut down private schools has caused most of the guardians in Nepalgunj to enroll their children in Indian schools in border towns, as new academic session started from April 15. The guardians said most of them are taking their children to Indian town of Rupaidiha. Bijaya Lama, principal of the Brightland secondary school and chairman of PABSON in Banke, said in the last four days more than 5,000 students from Nepalgunj got enrolled in Indian schools. “The well-to-do families are sending their children to bigger cities while lower and middle class families are under immense pressure after the rumours of closure,” he said. Gokul Bhandari, who passed his eighth grade from the Bheri English School, complained that none of the school was ready to admit him. “I don’t know anything — our right to education should be upheld,” he said.

The rumours of closure of private schools have directly affected 30,000 students, 10,000 teachers and staff members of 70 private schools of Banke district. Narayan Sigdel, a social worker of Kohalpur, said he was amazed at the silence of state and concerned party on such a crucial issue. “The government is silently watching when students and schools are losing so much,” he complained. Tika Ram Subedi of the Baljyoti secondary school in Kohalpur said guardians and civil society should create pressure for smooth functioning of the private schools. Principal of Marigold boarding school, SK Tamang, said politicisation of education in Nepal should be internationalised. The Maoists have detonated bombs at half-a-dozen private schools following their warning to shut them down. District Education Officer, Bishnu Prasad Thaiba, said his office was working towards clearing the confusion prevailing the education sector.