Teacher arrested for physical punishment


Kathmandu - This week news reports on education decreased with increased coverage of political news in the media. Issues covered on education included the case of central examination in class 10, increasing access to computer education in rural schools, cases of management issues in higher medical education, opinion articles of international innovative approach to ensure girls in school, letters from private school teachers calling for justice. One news also reported a teacher being arrested for physical punishment after parents complained to the police. A legal case being registered in court against a political group for the kidnapping and murder of a school teacher were reported this week.
 
Cases against violence in school
 
- The teacher has been arrested on the charge of torturing the student. A teacher of Sikta Secondary School of Rajpur has been arrested by the police following a complaint lodged by the parents. The math and science teacher had beaten a class 10 student for bringing zero marks in the internal examination. Some of the injured students had to be treated.
 
Recurring incidents of physical punishments in schools have been reported in the media. In recent times, coverage of teachers being taken action against such action has also increased. Students and parents taking collective action to bring such teachers under the law in such incidents can also be noted through multiple news reports. 
 
- A case of abduction and death has been registered against 42 people, including Netra Bikram Chand, general secretary of CPN-Chand group, in the district court of Morang on the charge of murdering a teacher of Miklajung. The committee had officially taken responsibility of the murder. 
 
- The abduction of students of a secondary school by unidentified gunmen in Nigeria was also reported again. Such reports of similar cases from Nigeria have been reported in Nepali media in the past months.
 
Policy Issues
 
- The news stated that students will be able to enroll in new schools in class 10 as well based on the policy that school education has been extended to class 12. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has made such an arrangement by amending the education regulations. Previously, students were able to enroll in class 10 only under specific conditions.
 
- A letter to the editor questioned the decision of the education ministry to continue to conduct class 10 exams in central level, even after the school exams are now defined to end in class 12. It doubted that it could be due to the scope to mobilize funds and get paid for the operation of central exams in class 10. 
 
News reports on Higher Education
 
- A memorandum of understanding was signed between Nepal Airlines Corporation and Lumbini Buddhist University to promote tourism in Nepal and expand Buddhist philosophy. According to the agreement, the two organizations will work together to create high quality manpower in the aviation and tourism sectors to help in the sustainable development of the tourism sector.
 
- News stated that doctors at the BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences of Dharan have padlocked the office of the vice-chancellor demanding COVID risk allowance to the frontline doctors, nurses and health workers. It also stated that they had padlocked the office of the institute’s registrar Dr Guru Khanal about a week ago, seeking the institute’s attention towards the need to improve the waste management system there and better facilities, promotion and other benefits for doctors who are serving here. Meanwhile, senior doctors at the institute have criticised the move. Teachers’ Welfare Society, an organisation of teachers at the institute, have expressed concern about the padlock.
 
Inclusion Matters :
 
- An opinion article expressed that the stipend program in Bangladesh have not only kept girls in school but improved their lives on multiple levels. In 1994, Bangladesh pioneered large-scale female targeted conditional cash transfers, which was replicated in Pakistan and some sub-Saharan African countries, such as Rwanda and Ghana. The program achieved success well beyond its aims through modest financial support for education. The program introduced a uniform stipend and tuition subsidy program for each girl attending a secondary school in rural areas if certain conditions were met: attend 75% of school days; attain some level of measured academic proficiency (45% in class-level test scores); and remain unmarried until completion of secondary school. The development benefits of the stipend program outweighed its cost by more than double. Over the years, it contributed on multiple fronts to women’s welfare.
 
- A news titled ‘Computer education in the villages’ had stated that the number of students going to remote cities has decreased after the introduction of computer education in many rural government schools. It has also removed the financial burden on parents it stated.
 
- A letter to the editor expressed concerns that private school teachers have been deprived of their salaries for months. The writer being a teacher who has been deprived of salary for months wrote that Private schools have imposed their own rules for their benefit, exploiting all teaching and non-teaching staff. 
 
- Other news included infrastructure matters as reconstruction of school in Kageshwari Municipality with the assistance from the Government of India and Ishanath Municipality Mayor laid the foundation stone for construction of the municipality building, a school, and a temple to be built from the development budget of the municipality.  
 
Abbreviations: 
COVID- Corona Virus Disease, RM- Rural Municipality, TU- Tribhuvan University, KU-Kathmandu University, AFU- Agriculture and Forestry University, MoEST- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, TUSC- Tribhuvan University Service Commission, NGOs- Non-Governmental Organizations, TUSC- Tribhuvan University Service Commission, CDC: Curriculum Development Centre, ECD- Early Childhood Development, SEE- Secondary Education Examination, SC- Supreme Court, VC- Vice Chancellor. 
 
'Education this Week' is a joint effort to analyze the press coverage of education in Nepal’s selected print media published in Kathmandu (Online scanning was stopped due to the shortage of staff time from last week - apologies with the readers). The main aim of this effort is to identify and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground 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) between 17-23 February 2021 (5-11 Falgun, 2077) - Editor.