KATHMANDU, May 15: Private and Boarding Schools´ Organization, Nepal (PABSON) and National Private and Boarding Schools´ Organization, Nepal (N-PABSON), which previously floated a proposal for closing down all private schools across the country till May 27 -- the Constituent Assembly (CA) deadline -- keeping in view the ongoing political turmoil, have now withdrawn their proposal following stiff resistance from the government.
The Department of Education (DoE) had termed the proposal unlawful and therefore unacceptable.
However, at a meeting held at the Ministry of Education (MoE) on Tuesday, PABSON and N-PABSON proposed that district education offices (DEOs), local chapters of teacher associations and private school organizations be allowed to shut down schools in their respective areas during general strikes.
According to Lal Bahadur BC, general secretary of All Nepal Teachers´ Organization, who was present at the meeting, MoE has given a nod to the local chapters of PABSON, N-PABSON, teacher associations and DEOs to shut schools during general strikes if needed. However, no written understanding has been reached to this effect, according to BC.
"As per the verbal understanding, schools will have to run classes during summer vacation for as many days they remain closed now," said BC.
According to Dil Bahadur Joshi, chairman of Nepal Teachers´ Association (NTA), the hope raised by a major political breakthrough on Tuesday also made PABSON and N-PABSON modify their previous proposal.
"Tuesday´s political deal has given a new hope," Joshi said. "We, therefore, have decided to not close down schools across the country for the time being. If the situation spirals out of control in the next few days, we may have to take another decision. For now, classes will continue as there is no strike going on."
As several parts of the country are reeling under political unrest with the CA deadline drawing closer, schools have been forced to discontinue classes. Schools in the far-west have remained closed for over two weeks now.
Schools in the mid-west and several parts of the Tarai have also remained closed for the last few days. In Dang and Kapilvastu, local chapters of PABSON, N-PABSON and teacher associations have already decided to close down all schools until May 27.