Schools to open in zones with no or nominal Covid cases


Kathmandu - This week the media continued to follow-up on the case of private schools delaying salaries of its teachers. News also stated that private schools were taking admission for class 11, prior to the results of SEE were published. New of more rural municipalities and schools taking teacher’s outreach programs with community classes was covered in the media. This week MoEST had announced that school in regions with least or no Covid cases will be opened. An article also discussed about the dangers like online harassment and abuse that has happened to some students in the process of online classes.An opinion article had suggested that donor be given honorary degrees to recognize their contribution and to encourage donation as an approach to copy from American universities.
 
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 most private schools starting enrollment ofstudents of grade 11 without theresult of SEE was made publicby the media. The private school operators who were dissatisfied with the new curriculum announced by the government for this year with 6 subjects for grade 11, have started the online registration and pre-enrollment following the old system. One of the parents stated that the private schools have been appealing for admission regardless of the fact that the result was not public yet. Dozens of private institutions from Kathmandu have called for admissions. The National Examination Board stated that the results will come only after the second week of July. The vice-president of HISAN board remarked that the students were securing their seats in the form of pre-registration and also, he has been lobbying for not implementing the new curriculum this year. The director of the Curriculum Development Center mentioned that the timetable for the implementation of the new curriculum has already been approved and the work of printing textbooks on compulsory subjects has also even been completed. 

- A news article on preparations for resuming schools from 16th July on least vulnerable regions from COVID-19 was reported. The education ministry had made this suggestion after their internal discussion to run schools at local level where there were no cases fromCOVID infection. After the shutdown of schools during the pandemic, alternative education had been started for 45 days where the ministry had assigned joint secretaries ofall the seven provinces. The ministry sources also mentioned teacher’sattendance inschools was made compulsory from July 20 for resuming classes.  According to the education minister the plan intends to resume schools in possible areas whereas alternative classes will continue in COVID risk areas. Another news article stated thepreparation to resume operation of schools from July 30 in Raptisonari rural municipality, Banke with the number of COVID-19 cases declining. After the meeting held by the rural municipality among people’s representatives, political parties and head teachers, the suggestion for reopening of schools was made due to the impact in teaching-learning activities from the school shutdown. The chairman of the rural municipality mentioned to resume schools using preventive measures for the spreading risk of infection. Some of the schools were used as quarantine stations, which will be sanitized before gradually open the school starting from senior students.

- The news reported on DiprungChuichumma Rural Municipality, Khotang preparing to mobilize teachers in every neighborhood of the local level and resuming teaching-learning activities from July 22. The chair of the rural municipality stated that after the ineffectiveness of online classes in the region, they decided to start mobilizing teachers for teaching-learning activities in communities maintaining the social distance. After the teachers undergo rapid diagnostic test, they will be mobilized to teach in every neighborhood of the local level. 

- Education minister was reported stating the education ministry is preparing a framework for achieving sustainable development for education at the provincial and local level. In a virtual meeting of the 32nd general assembly of Nepal National Commission for UNESCO (NNCU), education minister and NNCU chair stressed on collective initiatives for education development by assimilating science, technology and research, amid the adversity caused by the COVID-19 crisis. 

- A letter highlighted the issues of injustice teacher from private schoolsare facing due to inhumane act of negligence by private school operators. After the direction of education ministry, some of the schools started online classes through internet. The private school teachers have been suffering unable to ensure payments even when they are providing online classes unlike the secured salaries of government school teachers. The letter also raisesabout the possible impacts of this injustice on teachersin thequality oflearning activities in classroomsin the future. Nepal Teachers’ Federation have been lobbying to form a single teacher’s association under new proposed education act, but the mobilizers of such a federation have remained silent for this issue of crisis of private school teachers, noted the letter. 

The media has been constantly covering the issues related to private schools and their operation approach as a profit making industry. Coverage on these issues can also be helpful to reconsider the risk of having services like education to be delivered through a profit making institutional structure. Private school teachers not being paid, force on parents to pay school fees of shutdown period in covid crisis and this week, private schools taking admission for students in class 11 prior to SEE results being public in the name of securing seats, exposes the intentions with which private school operations are guided by. It also expresses that these institutions thrive in the fear driven competition among students and parents, which it further provokes. For a society to be a just one, with equity and sense of security for all, the service to educate the new generations can’t be handled through private institutions. 

'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 8-15, 2020 (Asar  24- 30, 2077) - Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali : जोखिमका आधारमा विद्यालय खुल्ने

Read last week’s analysis: Teachers staged street rally

All analysis read by this link : Education This week