Teachers’ crunch hits schools

PHIDIM, August 8

Teaching-learning activities in many schools of the eastern districts have been largely affected after they started to dismiss teachers without teaching licence from July 17, following the government’s decision.

The schools have been facing a hard time due to lack of Science and Mathematics teachers after the implementation of the government’s decision. As many as 21 lower secondary level teachers have been fired in Ilam so far, whereas, schools in Panchthar district are also preparing to bid farewell to teachers, who lack permanent teaching licence.

Rastriya Higher Secondary School, Fakfok, has not been able to hire secondary level science teacher since the past one-and-a half year in Ilam. Another science teacher was also forced to quit his job. Hence, the school has been unable to conduct regular Maths and Science classes for days, said head teacher Dinanath Bhattarai. “The government’s hasty decree without proper alternative has created several problems in schools,” he said.

Saraswoti Secondary School at Kolbung of Ilam has been facing a hard time, forcing a teacher to take up to nine periods a day instead of four. Other subject teachers have been engaging classes as proxies due to the crunch of Math and Science teachers at the school, said head teacher Pushpa Rai. “Other subjects are taught during Math and Science periods,” said Rai.

As many as 31 posts of Math and Science teachers were vacant in Ilam before the announcement. Now, the number has risen to 53, said District Education Officer Tanka Prasad Gautam. He said that they had not been able to appoint new teachers in the school, due to lack of skilled teachers. Hence, this problem should be resolved by the policy making body, he demanded.

Teacher’s Service Commission is yet to publish the result of teacher’s examination, which will produce qualified teachers possessing teaching licence.

However, teachers who were forced to quit their jobs have expressed ire at the government’s decision, which caused them to lose their jobs. “I had been teaching for the past six years. I was told not to attend school from Monday,” argued Nimesh Bhattarai of Himalayan Higher Secondary School.

“Earlier, they didn’t seek a teaching licence, but now they are demanding it,” complained Bhattarai. Bhattarai said that they should be provided some time to obtain the license.

Meanwhile, stakeholders have demanded the old education act be amended and the government allow appointing teachers without teaching licence for technical subjects.