Changing scene of Students Politics

Kathmandu -  This week multiple news and articles reported regular updates of students protest against biased agreement between medical institution operators and the government. There were matters questioning the role and future of student wings of the present political parties. Some editorial discussed about the role of education system for greater activism to emit superstitions like the ones related to Chaupadi practices (alienation of women in the times of mensuration period) that has killed too many woman in rural setup. Reports of some municipalities returning teachers send by the federal agency stating that the teachers where already appointed in the position also was published this week. Reports on irregularities and sorry state of universities in Nepal made it in the media again. The vacant position of VC in 6 universities was also reported.  

Abbreviations: MoEST- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, TU- Tribhuwan University, IOM- Institute of Medicine, TUSC-TU Service Commission, KD-Kantipur Daily, THT-  The Himalayan Times, PM- Prime Minister, CTEVT-Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training, KMC- Kathmandu Metropolitan City, SMC- School Management Committee,VC- Vice Chancellor

- Some municipalities where reported to not allow the teachers appointed from the federal agency to attend schools, stating that the municipality had already appointed teachers for the vacant positions. Purbichauki Rural municipality had stopped 5 teachers send by the central commission, while Rayal rural Municipality had stopped 1 teacher from reporting in school, stated the Education Development and Coordination Unit representative. Purbichauki Rural Municipality mayor stated that standing on the nation's constitution the education act of the municipality will accept teachers only when required. Though the education Unit blamed the municipality had appointed teachers preferring local personal then better teachers, the municipality stated that the appointment was done based on the present required standard.

- Students of Chitwan Medical College and Universal medical college boycotted exams. Students are in opposition of return of fees only of 2 batches and limited courses. Another news stated that the questions of the exams of MBBS where out before permitted period. The children of the management unit where among the students who gave exams. Police arrested students when some went to visit students who were caught while boycotting the exam the news reported.  A new investigation committee has been formed for further investigation of the extra fees colleges has taken from students.

- A news reported that 1lakh treatment fund will be provided by TU to all its students. Students of TU and its constituent colleges will  get refund for medical expenses.At initial stage the facility will be provided only in defined public hospitals. The Home Minister is planning to ensure students access to this health insurance fund in other hospital as well. TU has also enforced all its affiliated colleges to ensure compulsory 100% scholarship to 10% of enrolled students. 

- A news reported that 6 universities have VCs position empty at the moment. Purwanchal and Nepal Sanskrit University has positions of VC, Service Commission President, and members empty it stated. Agriculture and Forest Science University, PokharaUniveristy, Mid-Western Univeristy did not have a VC appointed.  This is mostly due to delay in recommending names for the position by search committee lead by Education Minister stated the report.

- Schools in the eastern hilly districts of Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha of Province 1 started digital literacy campaign to improve schools’ management and institutional capacity. The campaign’s slogan was ‘digital infrastructure in education for the foundation of prosperous province’.  The campaign aimed at building schools’management and institutional capacity by mobilizingalumniorganizations, mothergroups and establishing friendly relations among schools.Chairman of Quality Education Improvement Campaign Implementation Committeeunder the provincial Ministry of Social Development stated the campaignwould enhance the quality of education among students through the use of computers.

- An opinion article discussed about the implication of Protest movement lead by students in Medical Education Sector. The students of medical colleges have taken the responsibility against corruption in medical education sector. The PM's self-praising statement that students are in protest because they believe in the present government turned into a joke after the government tried to cheat them with a false agreement that had many loop holes which the students denied to accept stated the writer. All government agencies are waiting for direction from the PM including Universities it further stated. While all is almost in halt due to the health of the PM, medical student's protest is at its peak. The non-violent protest strategy taken by the medical students have challenged the essence and future of the student unions. Medical student’s politics is changing the context of student lead politics the writer rightly stated.

It should be noted that while the student wings of the political parties are slowing losing ground and trust from the mass, students involved in protest against corruption in medical education sector, are creating example of grassroots mobilizing by students independent of any political backing. This movement has the potential to change the future of Politics and for sure has already changed the standard and norm for student mobilization in political agenda as rightly stated by the opinion article published this week. 

'Education this Week' is a joint effort put to analyze the press coverage of education in Nepal’s selected print media published in Kathmandu. The main aim of this effort is to identify and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground of the news.This, we believe, will help policy makers and other responsible people to keep abreast with ongoing concerns and discussions on and around education. EduKhabar, in collaboration with the Center for Educational Policies and Practices (CEPP) , has produced this analysis based on the news printed in Kantipur (Nepali) and The Himalayan Times (English), Dailies andHimal Weekly(Nepali) betweenDec 4-10, 2019 (Mansir 18-24, 2076)- Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali : आन्दोलन र विद्यार्थी राजनीतिको बदलिदो परिदृश्य

Read last week’s analysis : The clear message of the silence of the students unions in the medical fee agenda

All analysis read by this link : Education This week