INARUWA: Of late, teachers in three schools in Sunsari rush every day to make it to school and their classes on time. They do this not because they think they would be violating rules by not reaching school on time or that the District Education Office has begun strict invigilation, but because of the students’ habit of acquiring information of the teachers who arrive late for classes.

The students in the Bhagawati Secondary School, Inaruwa, Janata Secondary School, Madhesha and Saraswati Secondary School, Babiya, have made it a point to ask the teachers the reasons for the latter’s delay in class.

Apart from that, the students have also made it a point to maintain a good academic environment in the schools by keeping records of each and every activity of the schools in their diaries.

The students further collect information and sit to discuss the adverse effects of frequent bandas/strikes. Jaykrishna Yadav of Advocacy Forum, Sunsari, told this daily that the students’ initiative has also helped in convincing various groups and political parties against calling such strikes.

The students’ initiation comes following a programme launched by Advocacy Forum for children victimized by the Maoist conflict.

The students have started keeping records of various activities of the school, including their homework, in the diary provided to them by the Forum.

Chandrika Choudhari, a ninth grader at the Saraswati Secondary School, Babiya, said the students are not merely collecting information and keepng records, but they are also trying to change their overall behaviour by discussing them.

“In the past, schools used to be closed just like that. We students were never given the reason for the closures, but these days we have started to enquire with the management why the schools are closed,” she said.

According to her, the students now see to it that representatives

of the school management committees read aloud to the students a decision to close the schools and the reasons for it. Barsha Niroula of Janata Secondary School, Madhesha, said physical punishment has ended in the school after the students got united.

“We have started to voice our concerns against any teacher who punishes us physically and now such punishments have stopped,” she said.

The students say they are glad that the relationship between teachers and students have strengthened and their right to information has been guaranteed because of the programme.

In the first phase of the programme, students have started to take note of all regular

activities in the three schools. According to Yadav, the academic environment in the schools has improved, while teachers, who were careless earlier, have become punctual in their classes.

Purushottam Ghimire, headmaster of the Bhagawati Secondary School, Inaruwa, confirmed the change in behaviour of the teachers and the marked improvement in the schools.

“Teachers have now become more responsible; students greet them with a volley of questions if they arrive late for daily classes,” Ghimire said.