Nov 21, Kathmandu
Following continued protests by university students, the Teachers Service Commission on Monday suspended the process of hiring permanent teachers by reserving a big proportion of seats for the temporary teachers in service.
The commission said in a statement that preparations for conducting tests for permanent posting have been suspended for a month. Students from the education stream of Tribhuvan University had been staging a hunger strike in front of the commission’s office demanding a halt to the hiring process being carried forward in line with the ninth amendment to the Education Act-1972. The revision had opened the door for temporary teachers to attain permanent status without facing a competitive test.
The TSC on November 8 had announced vacancies for around 20,000 positions with significant reservation for teachers appointed on temporary basis. The protest by university students under the banner of Students Struggle Committee has been withdrawn with the commission’s latest decision.
“This is a welcome decision from the commission. We want the hiring process to be stopped permanently and free competition to be announced,” said Diggaj Dhaurali, press coordinator of the struggle committee, warning of resuming protests if the TSC restarts the process.
While pausing the process, the commission awaits the Supreme Court’s verdict on a writ filed against the Act amendment and the recruitment process. The SC on November 15 issued a show cause notice to the government as to why the vacancies had to be announced.
Despite objection from several quarters, the parliament on September 19 endorsed the ninth amendment to the Education Act, opening the door for hundreds of temporary teachers to get state benefits even if they fail the TSC test for permanent appointment.
The latest amendment cleared the deck for announcing internal vacancies for temporary teachers recruited before August 6, 2004. The serving teachers were eligible to get permanent posting if they secured just 40 marks—the minimum passing score. It also made way for the TSC to reserve 75 percent quotas for temporary teachers recruited between August 6, 2004 and July 29, 2016.
The government has issued 700,000 teaching licences after conducting tests, which had been a must for appointing teachers until the new change. The agitating students charge the government and the political parties with conspiring to destroy the public education sector. More than six million students study in around 29,000 public schools across the country. There are around 26,000 temporary teachers who landed jobs in the schools on the back of their political patronage.
( Source: The Kathmandu Post)