Selection of Volunteer Teachers harmful in long run


Kathmandu - This week multiple case of sexual misconduct by teachers in school was among the issues followed in the media. It got multiple mentions with front page coverage. MoEST has committed to ensure that in a month, all vacant positions for teachers will be filled by volunteer teachers under "Let Us Know the Country and Learn about Our Soil” campaign, which was followed by criticism from education experts stating this could be repetition of past practice to employ cadres of ruling political party in schools again.

Language Commission called on local government to ensure that primary education was accessible to students in their mother tongue. Three private medical college affiliated to KU were reported for taking more fees by making students sign a Paper Contract to enter the school premise. News about success of ‘nurses in school’ program in province 3 was also reported this week. TU called this week to the government to reduce taxes on books, stating the fall on amount of book sales after the increase in tax on books.

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

- The report states that the parents are forced to pay additional fees under the threat from administration. Parents were stated reporting they were forced to pay additional 29 hundred thousand rupees of additional fees, after the Government agencies, from Medical Education Council, University office, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, District Administration Office, failed to respond timely to their appeals. The administration had banned students who haven’t paid additional fees from entering the college premise. In fear of children being left out from regular studies, parents stated that they agreed to pay additional fees. Parents have openly stated that the college administration is taking additional fees based on their political connection power.

- MoEST has committed to ensure that in a month, all 39,000 vacant positions for teachers will be filled by volunteer teachers under "Let Us Know the Country and Learn about Our Soil” campaign. Education Minister stated volunteer teachers would be mobilized as there was shortage of teachers particularly for Math, English and Science subjects. An education expert doubted the intention of the ministry to admit such large amount of teachers in such short period of time, stating intention could be to admit political cadres of ruling party to education sector again like in the past. The ministry could have assisted local bodies to appoint teachers in collaboration with civil organizations, but ministries’ direct appointment of temporary teachers is questionable stated the letter to editor by a renowned academic expert. The appointment procedure indicates that the teachers would not be trained or assisted prior to being send to schools. This appears to be repetition of well-known attempt to appoint personals of political party in power in schools. The volunteer teachers is a good approach, but scientific selection procedure and training is a must to improve public schools.

-  The Guardian Association of Nepal has volunteered to lodge a police complaint against a community school teacher accused of sexually molesting 26 girls of grades III, IV and V if the school management continues to remain tightlipped on the issue. The umbrella organization of parents and guardians of schoolchildren had conducted its own investigation for two days after THT reported the case about sexual molestation on the premises of a school in Mahalaxmi Municipality of Lalitpur. Later the Principle lodged the complaint to the police despite pressure from SMC members of the school. Multiple other cases of sexual misconduct by adults in their position as teachers were also reported this week.

-  Mid Western University staffs are left with no option but to wait for the appointment of new VC to receive their salaries for months now. 100 million rupees is stuck in university accounts due to the absence of the VC. Different institution and organization active in the university has also demanded that the Higher Education Act be amended to make Mid-Western University a federal university.

- Experts were reported stating that the influence of English has impacted traditions and affiliation with mother tongue among students and youths. In a program organized by Language Commission of Nepal, experts stated that making English as language of instruction will impacts the multilingual and multicultural identify of the nation in long run. The president of Language Commission stated the priority should be on languages of mother tongue, official language that is Nepali and then only English as a foreign language. The research collectively done by  Language Commission and the Language Department of TU identified 6 new languages spoken in Nepal, which the total number of language to 129 from 123 language register from census of 2011-12. The experts stated that the local governments were responsible for school education upto class 12, they could ensure early education in the mother tongue for all students. This will require developing a standard dictionary, digital content and school textbooks in the different languages. A language cannot be allowed to die. It will erase an important passage of human heritage.

- It was reported that TU was preparing to add more permanent teachers in schools. TU is taking this decision against the recommendation of Monitoring directorate. TU Monitoring Directorate has investigated the status of affiliated campus, ratio of teachers to students ratio and suggested transfer and shift rearrangements of teachers accordingly. The directorate had also stated that present permanent teachers took fewer classes in TU's campus and taught in other colleges.

'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 and Himal Weekly (Nepali) between Feb 19-25, 2020 (Falgun 7-13, 2076) - Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali :  स्वयंसेवक शिक्षक नियुक्तिका दीर्घकालीन असर

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