School locked over appointment row

POKHARA, July 29 

Students at Amar Singh H S School on Wednesday barred their teachers from entering the school and issued a three-day ultimatum to settle the prolonged row over the appointment of head teacher.

The students shut the school’s main gate accusing school authorities of playing foul with the future of hundreds of students. They have warned of fresh and stronger agitation if the dispute is not settled within three days.

District Education Office had appointed Keshav Acharya as Acting head teacher based on seniority after then head teacher Naba Raj Poudel tendered his resignation on June 17. However, a head teacher is yet to be appointed due to delay in the decision by former Assistant head teacher Tejaswi Baral. According to Baral, he should have been promoted to the post of head teacher.

The school has not been able to form School Management Committee for the past three years due to political meddling.

With Acharya’s appointment to the post, teachers loyal to Unified CPN-Maoist had padlocked the administration defying his headship. Though the administration office was unlocked by students after three days, the issues remain unaddressed.

Earlier, Unified CPN-Maoist activists had beaten Acharya black and blue with rod and other weapons while he was attending a meeting on July 13. After the incident, teachers loyal to UCPN-M had padlocked the school protesting the involvement of Mangal Rokaya, a teacher at the school, in the attack.

The school was unlocked by its students on July 27.

Acting head teacher Acharya, who is associated with CPN-UML, said he was not allowed to continue his responsibility despite being appointed to the post legally and through education act.

He argued that the UCPN-Maoist aligned teacher activists had assaulted him fearing disclosure of their financial irregularities. Assistant head teacher Baral attributed the complication to former head teacher Poudel’s weakness and Acharya’s ambitious nature.

District Education Officer Ambika Prasad Acharya said he was acquainted with the school’s prolonged problem. He said, “Initiatives to develop negotiation between both the rival parties are under way.”

There are around 3,000 students in the school from grade one to XII.