KATHMANDU, July 6: Educational institutions across the country grappled with altogether 86 incidents of strikes and padlocking last year, as per a study report released on Friday.
The study was conducted by the Secretariat of Nepal National Commission for the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the preliminary report of which was made public on Friday in Kathmandu.
The report shows that 55 cases of padlocking of both public and private schools were reported in the year 2068 BS (2011, April 14-2012, April 12). Public or community schools were the hardest hit, the report claims.
"It´s not a comprehensive study," said Dhruba Raj Regmi, under secretary at the UNESCO secretariat at Ministry of Education.
Public schools were closed 38 times, which is twice the occasions when private schools were shut down. Universities were the second hardest hit by the strikes and padlocking. In 2068 BS, various varsities were padlocked 22 times.
University Grants Commission (UGC), Department of Education (DoE), Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB), Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and various colleges were, too, affected by strikes and padlocking on several occasions, states the report.
The report points out that strikes were enforced on schools, colleges and universities, forcing them to remain close for one day to continuous two weeks at one occasion. Student unions and political parties, followed by teacher unions, have been identified as the major forces calling educational strikes.
While most of the strikes and padlocking of educational institutes, as cited by the report, were for serious reasons, some seem to be silly at best. Some students have closed down educational institutes for not being able to cheat during exams, while some teachers have padlocked their schools because of their internal disputes.