Educationists worry school calendar in protest-hit Tarai districts might go astray

Kathmandu, Dec 24: With most schools in the Tarai districts remaining shut for the past four months due to the Tarai-Madhes agitations, concerned authorities have warned that there would be difficulties to maintain this year’s academic calendar.

According to a source, a few percentage of the required class attendance has been maintained so far by children in the protest-hit districts against the existing educational provisions that requires 192 days of teaching and learning activities in an academic session and 134 days class attendance of children.

The White Paper issued by Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel on November 24, states that around 3.76 million children students of 20 protest-stricken districts have been affected by the closure of schools for long.

Moreover, the protest has violated the act of the government to declare schools peace-zone and the Convention on Child Rights, 1989.

Khagraj Baral, Director-General of the Department of Education, said that the closure of schools in protest-hit Tarai districts for long may bring crisis in teaching-learning activities.

The protest may also affect educational regulations that require the total 192 days of learning and teaching activities and 70 percent class attendance of students in an academic session.

As a result, he added that tendency of children to drop out or quit schools may increase as well.

According to a study carried out by Children as Zone of Peace and Education Journalists Group, although classes in the protest-affected districts are being conducted in the morning, the practice has failed to yield expected results as children are finding it hard to make it to schools due to various reasons like increasing cold among others.

The study also said that drop-out rate may increase and pass-out rate may decrease as a result of the protest, while having psychological repercussion on the children. RSS