Schools peace zone bid 'in haste'

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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Concerned stakeholders have accused the government of declaring schools as ‘zone of peace’ without carrying out proper study and consulting them.

The unilateral move comes at a time when political parties and others involved in the sector have been airing differing views on the issue. The proposal of the declaration, which was approved by the Cabinet on May 25, was prepared by officials at the Ministry of Education, according to ministry sources.

The declaration is an indication that the government underestimated the gravity of the issue, said Baburam Adhikari, Chairman of Nepal National Teachers Organisation.

The main opposition party Nepali Congress also said that it was not consulted before the government moved ahead with the decision. “The political parties did pledge to declare schools as zone of peace a few months ago,” said Nepali Congress leader Dilendra Prasad Badu. “However, the government did not consult us before it took the decision to this effect.” He said his party was in favour of declaring grades I-VIII free from politics. However, political indoctrination should be allowed in secondary schools and colleges, argued Badu.

Educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema said the government move to declare schools a zone of peace was a ‘populist’ one. “The declaration of such nature requires months of preparations,” said Mathema. “The government should have garnered the support of political parties, teachers’ unions and student groups on the issue before taking a concrete decision.”

(Sourc: The Himalayantimes)