Action sought against teachers involved in stir

Kathmandu, November 2

The National Human Rights Commission has recommended to the government to take action against teachers involved in Madhes agitation, saying closure of schools had violated children’s right to education.

A report released by NHRC on November 1 after conducting a study in 28 districts affected by the ongoing Madhes agitation said children were deprived of their right to education in most of the Tarai districts.

Article 31 of the constitution has classified right to education as the fundamental right of children. Similarly, article 28 of the Child Rights Convention, 1989, has also ensured children’s right to education. “Although some of the private schools have been running classes, government schools have been shut in Tarai as teachers have been participating in the agitation instead of carrying out their duties,” said the report.

NHRC has urged government to create environment favourable for resumption of classes in schools and to take action against teaching participating in the agitation. It has also asked the government to report it about the progress made in this connection.

The report said schools remained open only for five days during 122 school days in Parsa. Similarly, a UNICEF report states that studies of 1.6 million children have been affected due to the ongoing agitation in the Tarai. The report said schools had been partially running classes in Ilam, Dhankuta, Siraha, Mahottari, Bara, Rupendehi, Baglung and Dang.

“However, due to fear of violence in Dang, the Chief District Officer had directed the schools to close,” says the NHRC report. It further said that as schools remain closed, even students have been participating in the agitation in various Tarai districts.

A few years ago, the government had declared schools and students as zones of peace and even the political parties have signed agreements pledging not to disrupt academic activities. “But the parties have failed to keep their words,” the report said.

The report states that 49 people, including six minors, have been killed so far during the Madhes agitation.