Over 1000 teachers who have been occupying the temporary slots created by the departure of permanent and experienced teachers to district education offices as resource personnel are to be displaced as the latter return to their respective seats. The temporary teachers started feeling the heat after the education department called back the experienced teachers who had left schools to take up lucrative job of resource persons on contract. There is little doubt the practice has been a handicap as it encouraged seasoned teachers to move away from where the action is — the classroom. This denied the students valuable expertise, learning then only with services of the beginners and the untrained. Nepal has a dearth of trained teachers, but that cannot stand in the way of filtering those who have only been drawing on the nation’s scarce resources. But hiring or firing of teachers, however, must be done after sound evaluation of the potential, experience, background and assessment of other vital parameters which differentiate the good from the no-so-good ones. There are many teachers spending more time outside the classroom than with the pupils. Quite possibly those in the temporary basket have been performing better. Inadequacies which the education
sector has so far grappled with, are altogether a different matter. That, however, cannot be the reason for not axing the teaching force. Only that the modus operandi of the whole exercise has to be logical, convincing and fair. Even as the inefficient ones are weeded out, the MoE must encourage and enrol the trained and qualified bunch.
Many of these practices are a reflection of the ad hoc principle on which the education sector has so far relied heavily on. If the policy framers yesteryears had thought a bit more in anticipating the ramifications of allowing practices like the aforesaid one, it would not have faced the dilemma and would have saved resources required in fending off opposition from those affected by its recent decision. It would also have contributed to building a more organised and efficient sector. The policy framers must thus ensure that the MoE is not caught up in an issue such as this in the future. The decentralisation drive under which the changes are coming in must be permitted to stay long enough to produce the desired results.