Nepal: Teachers’ Unions demand reform
Back in May, the Teachers' Union of Nepal (TUN) along with the Nepal National Teachers’ Association (NNTA) and the Nepal Teachers’ Association (NTA) demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Education and Sports on the recruitment and dismissal procedures prevailing in the country. They were joined by the EI Asia Pacific Regional Committee members who were in Kathmandu for their Committee meeting.
The organisations were demanding the following:
1. an end to the recruitment of teachers on temporary contracts 2. action to make existing temporary teachers permanent 3. a stop to decentralization, especially the empowerment of school and village committees to hire and fire teachers. As a result, the Ministry invited the teachers’ organisations for negotiations on the very same day, May 10th. However since then, progress has been slow. The Teachers' Union of Nepal has been working with a committee in the Ministry to reach agreement on the new education regulation, which will be designed to meet the demands of the unions. Nonetheless, it appears that there will be no developments in the legislative domain until after the constituent elections have taken place. The unions have noted their frustration at these delays.
Meanwhile, the latest figures to come out of the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) indicate that some 63,000 new teachers are needed to meet the current demand for teachers in Nepal. The MoES has stated that the Finance Ministry is responsible for this situation, given that it has not released the funds necessary to close the teaching gap. The issue has also been underlined by demonstrating students who blocked highways in order to signal their dissatisfaction with the shortages. The Government of Nepal has not recruited any new teachers in the last seven years. This has major implications for the achievement of quality Education for All in the country.
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