Lack of coordination

The government seems inefficient in taking strict measures to prevent the influx of H1N1 viral infection from the open borders of Nepal “Border health desks sans staff, shut” (THT, Aug.11). Even after the reports of increasing incidence of tolls in the neighbouring countries, the government is still unprepared “Govt awaiting

outbreak to stir into action” (THT Aug 11). This laxity presages upheavals due to the infection impending in this small country.

Likewise, the lack of coordination among the local administrative bodies at the border districts to check the infection at the borders also shows the government’s failure in controlling diarrhea in the mid western hilly districts due to the lack of similar coordination. So, it should take it as the lesson and take immediate action to prevent the programmes launched at the borders from turning into a fiasco. Well coordinated efforts from DPHO, police administration, migration office at the border and the support from local NGOs can help cope with the problem.

In addition, the health desks set up at the borders should be replete with sufficient logistics and the manpower without any delay.

Besides screening, the inhabitants of the border towns should be made aware about swine flu and the local health authorities need to remain vigilant.

Bikash Shakya, National Medical College, Birgunj

At a price

The article “One College, Two Less” (THT Aug 12) points at the state of affairs prevailing in the contemporary educational “factories” and their “workers”.

Private colleges prefer to enlist the services of temporary teachers as they can get them at low wages on hourly basis. In order to make both ends meet, the teachers have no choice but to sell their services in more than one college. So they run from one college to another to keep their temporary status afloat. It is another matter that even these low paying temporary offers are available, not on merit basis, but on referrals and some form of connection or acquaintance.

On the other hand, full time teaching profession has all the trappings of a feudal era in terms of appointment and conditions of service. With exceptions, a restaurant waiter commands more dignity and respect than a full time teacher in new Nepal. With no appointment letter and any perk worth the name, the word full time in teaching service is a huge joke. However, they fare slightly better than their

temporary colleagues as they draw salary, albeit low, for all the 12 months in a year. The best part is they do not need to run so much for a living. Yet some of them, especially from influential colleges, will run nevertheless taking great pride in their ability to well “manage their time” to sell their services to the

competitors completely ignoring the basic management tenet of “conflict of interest”. And, of course, sooner or later these greed-laden merchants of education might be running to hide their income from the prying eyes of the ever-vigilant revenue posse.The students could not be much happier though at their luck of being taught by the same teacher from HSEB to masters level. What more motivation would students need? A familiar face is a great help indeed.Truth be told, despite make believe stories from certain quarters, there is no dearth of highly talented and qualified teaching faculty in the country. But quality comes at a price and, as the saying goes, if you throw peanuts you will only attract the monkeys. With exceptions, the exemplary teaching faculty too runs, but beyond the lofty Himalayas and the great fertile plains, leaving all the monkeys behind.

J Talchabhadell, via e-mail


Hitting the streets CPN-Maoist’s Hisila Yami said, “unlike its previous image of land of peace Nepal could become dynamite now” (THT, Aug 10). Previously, Nepal was the land of peace until the 10-year Maoist insurgency wrecked the nation. Thereafter the violence and lawlessness created by the activities of various Maoist sister outfits like the militant YCL and its labor unions has propelled the nation to become “dynamite” now. Perhaps, Yami might not have realized that her observation has boomeranged and pointed a finger at the Maoists for disturbing the peace of the nation. Nevertheless, kudos for Hisila this time around for being so forthright.

S Chhetri, Banepa