Hundreds of students from various schools took to the streets against the closure of schools due to the indefinite strike called by various political parties and groups demanding their agenda be fulfilled in the new constitution, in Panchthar, yeterday.
The agitating students, who were in school uniform, shouted slogans carrying placards with messages on them such as ‘Let’s not close schools for the vested interest of political parties’, ‘Assure children’s rights to education’, ‘End closure and strikes in schools’, ‘Take action against politically motivated teachers’.
The students gathered on the premises of district headquarters-based Phidim Higher Secondary School and marched around the municipal area before handing a memorandum at the District Administration Office and District Education Office, urging the concerned authorities to create a conducive environment for teaching-learning activities in the district.
The children were compelled to resort to demonstration as leaders had called indefinite shutdown of schools though they had declared schools as peace zone in coordination with District Child Club Network last year.
Schools in the district have remained shut due to separate closures called on by Limbuwan Struggle Committee, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities and Federal Limbuwan Party Nepal among others.
“We have no option but to resort to protest as the agitating political parties unveiled their programme announcing shutdown of schools on September 10 and 11 in the districts,” said Sabin Ramdas, a member of the network.
The memo submitted to CDO Purushottam Ghimire demands that schools be allowed to run smoothly without any obstruction; bandhs should not affect educational institutions, children should not be used to fulfil the vested interest of political parties; children’s right to education must be ensured, and the goverment’s decision to declare schools as peace zone must be implemented, among others.
CDO Ghimire said, “The problems have remained intact as political leaders do not care about sitting for dialogue though I have urged them several times.”
Meanwhile, DEO Gyan Mani Nepal said that they had not been able to establish schools as peace zone due to lack of cooperation from Limbuwan and other parties. Lavahang Chemjong, central member of Federal Limbuwan Party Nepal, said, “The resumption of schools failed for lack of coordination among authorities.”