Teachers staged street rally


Kathmandu - Student unions calling on Parents to not to pay the school fees was also reported this week. This week it was also reported that private schools associations were warning to shut down online classes if they were not able to cover cost for regular expenditure as fees for online classes. Private schools came on the street under the banner of Institutional School Teachers’ Union calling for their salaries to be paid. Evaluation  of class XI students was also purposed to be done internal by schools, this week. A school in Bajura had started community classes for its students to facilitate access to education in their own community. MoEST has approved the ‘Alternative learning in higher education facilitation framework, 2077’ and introduced the framework with arrangement for alternative process regarding teaching, learning, research, examination and evaluation at university-level higher educational institutions to be implementation through the University Grants Commission. 
 

Abbreviations: MoEST- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, KD-Kantipur Daily, THT-  The Himalayan Times, SEE- Secondary Education Examination , TU- Tribhuvan University, KU-Kathmandu University, NOU- Nepal Open University, MoD-Ministry of Defense

- The news on private school teachers’ of Sunsari district hitting the streets demanding their salary of lockdown period was covered in media this week. As much as 300 teachers staged street rally organized under the banner of Institutional School Teachers’ Union in Itahar, Sunsari. One of the teachers also said that they would padlock all schools and their umbrella organizations if their salaries were not paid. Some schools were willing to pay the pending salaries however; the umbrella organizations were pressuring the schools not to do so because if some schools paid others would also have to follow suit the media reported. 

- It was reported that National Curriculum Development and Assessment Council has decided to let schools provide mark-sheets for their Grade XI students on the basis of internal evaluation. The NCDAC had also called on the National Examination Board to prepare a work plan for schools to conduct the evaluation on their own. The cabinet meeting has already cancelled the examination of Grade X, Secondary Education Examination last month. As the time for the examinations in usual academic calender has passed, government authorities are considering allowing the schools to make assessment of their students on their own. The authorities, however, are still undecided about the Grade XII examination. National Examination Board had called on all schools to submit their international evaluations before the end of the week to Education Development and Coordination Council. Board had reported that they plan to publish the SEE report before the end of July. 

- The news article on Bajura’s Budhinanda Basic Level School starting to teach students through community classes by reaching their community and neighborhoods was reported this week. After the effect of lockdown on teaching-learning experience prolonged the school started the initiate to reach students in their community to continue their studies mentioned the head teacher of the school. The report stated that this was a more convenient approach for rural areas, while in urban areas schools had started classes online. Students from eight settlements attend such classes. One teacher has been deployed to one settlement. A local reported classes were being conducted maintaining social distance. It was also mentioned that the teachers had also organized psycho-social counseling for students. According to the school, the teachers had oriented students about health, hygiene and sanitation.

- Student unions calling on Parents to not to pay the school fees was also reported this week. Nepal Student Union, Bhojpur, had asked guardians not to pay any fees to schools for the lockdown period. At a time when PABSON and N-PAB- SON has been asking guardians to pay fees to schools even for the lockdown period, NSU, Bhojpur, has asked guardians not to pay fees for the lockdown period. At a press conference it also asked schools to waive off fees of the lockdown period. Union also further warned of a stern protest if guardians were compelled to pay fees for the lockdown period.

- The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has approved the ‘Alternative learning in higher education facilitation framework, 2077’ and introduced the framework for implementation through the University Grants Commission. The framework has made arrangement of alternative process regarding teaching, learning, research, examination and evaluation at university-level higher educational institutions. The Cabinet meeting held on July 3 took a decision in this regard and the bodies concerned have been urged to follow it. The decision in this regard has been taken considering the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown leading to closure of education institutions. This step can also help build a long term strategic framework for innovation in higher education through distance learning approach.

- One international news covered this week on education stated that Hong Kong schools where directed not to provide materials against new security law. Hong Kong schools should not provide reading materials that violate a new national security law unless they use it to ‘positively teach’ students about the issue, the city’s Education Bureau was quoted. It was an example of how school curriculum was used by the as a political tool to direct citizens towards its interest. 

Bajura’s Budhinanda Basic Level School’s initiative to teach students through community classes by reaching their community and neighborhoods can be an inspiration for many schools in rural setup. These efforts can also give lesions for primary schools to reach out younger students in their own community even in regular situation to ensure access to education for many marginalized communities as well. Organized lobbying of private school teachers for their rights can be seen as a positive direction for the staffs of institutional schools. Organized lobbing can help with fear treatment of teachers while governments should also treat them as a workers union like any usual institution. National Curriculum Development and Assessment Council’s decision to let schools provide mark-sheets for their Grade XI students on the basis of internal evaluation can help explore a more trusted relation between schools and the government in the long term. This is also a good step towards the decentralization of student assessment. 

'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 between July 1-7, 2020 (Asar 17-23, 2077) - Editor.
 
 
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