Various teachers’ associations affiliated to different political parties have agreed on a merger to form a single umbrella body.
Over a dozen teachers’ associations united under three different umbrella bodies will be merged to form Federation of Nepali Teachers (FNT) which will come to an effect within a month. There are currently 18 teacher associations-- nine under Educational Republic Forum (NERF), five under Teachers’ Union of Nepal (TUN) and four under Madhesi Teachers Association, though the Education Act 2071 has a provision for only one umbrella body.
All associations have dissolved their central committees with an agreement to form an ad hoc committee of FNT within a week, with representatives from all the existing associations.
According to Lal Bahadur BC, chairman of All Nepal Teachers’ Association close to CPN Maoist, general convention of the new organisation will be held on January 20 next year which will elect a central committee for the next two years.
“We agreed to form a single association following criticisms from different quarters,” said BC. “The formation of FNT is as per the spirit of existing legal provisions.”
After criticism that the teachers breached the legal provisions, the associations on November 24 had agreed on a merger to form a single body to advocate for the rights of teachers. Teachers have claimed that formation of FNT will be helpful in raising joint voice for the promotion and protection of the rights, morale, status, and concerns of teachers in public school system.
BC said that as it will take time to merge various associations at the district and the local levels, the proposed FNT will allocate the reservation for all the associations for two years. “Once all the associations are merged at the local level, there will be free competition at the central level,” BC added.
The union is expected to decrease the direct party based politics in schools. There are around 200,000 teachers in 34,000 public schools across the country.
Source: The Kathmandu Post.