Teachers are again on an offensive mood. This time they have adopted a novel modus operandi to let their fury known to the authorities. Contrary to the conventional and orthodox technique of staging strikes and holding processions and sit-ins, they have opened schools on Saturday and taught the students in an enthusiastic manner. Reports indicate that the students who otherwise abstain from attending school on Saturday reciprocated the call of the teachers and participated in the process.
This articulation of the grievances and expression of their opposition against the authorities through innovative and positive means have caught the attention of the national media. Though the teachers had been on strike for long, this was the first time that they got a hearing in the national media because of the imaginative way they designed the mode of the actions. Sometimes doing things differently can be more effective than executing action on a regular and boxed in pattern. This peaceful, constructive and positive resistance on the part of the teachers should draw the attention of the educational authorities, and their grievances need to be resolved in a fair and positive spirit.
Needless to say, the education sector in the country is in a sorry state of mess and chaos. Despite the annual increment in the outlay of the national resources for building the competence of the teachers and adding physical assets and infrastructure, the teaching and learning situation is poor and pathetic. School education has become further disorganised due to dichotomies created by the duality of the public and private schools. The private sector is hell bent on furthering commercialisation of education while the public schools are afflicted by politics.
The teachers are unionised and organised around political party ideologies that take their attention away from the classrooms to the open space of politics. While initiating measures to redress the grievances of the teachers, it is necessary that the structural issues are tackled. Unless schools are freed from the menace of politics, issues will crop up time and again even if the current problems are addressed. Therefore, the authorities should take bold steps to ensure that the malaises rotting the education sectors are negotiated and settled in an effective way.
(Source: The Rising Nepal)