Two major alliances of nearly two dozens of teachers´ associations have joined hands to press the government to address their demands.
Nepal Teachers´ Union (NTU) comprising nine teachers´ associations and Nepal Educational Republican Forum (NERF) comprising 11 organizations close to various political parties have also made public a concept paper to facilitate talks with the government.
“Never before have all teachers´ associations come up with common points,” said Baburam Adhikari, president of Nepal National Teachers´ Organizations (NNTO), which is affiliated to NTO. “Now, the government will not have to sit for talks with each association.”
The Ministry of Education (MoE) had time and again urged all teachers´ associations to form alliances. The coming together of all teachers associations is expected to facilitate talks with the MoE.
The two alliances have put forward various demands including allocation of 20 per cent of national budget to the education sector, giving permanent status to relief-quota and temporary teachers, reinstatement of all teachers forced to resign during the Maoist insurgency and formation of a constitutional education commission, among others.
“We have submitted our joint concept paper to Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal. He is positive,” said Dil Bahadur Joshi, president of NTU. “If the government failed to address our demands within one month, we will launch a decisive struggle this time around.” Joshi made it clear that their agitation would not lead to the closure of schools.
However, Central Struggle Committee of Temporary Teachers´ Agitation affiliated to NNTO -- which is on the warpath for the last three months demanding that the MoE make them permanent through an internal, instead of open, competition -- said that it will continue with its protests.
“Our agitation will support the teachers´ association when they sit for talks with the government,” said Nirendra Kunwar, president of the committee.
(Source: The Rising Nepal)