Teachers from public schools huddle under one umbrella

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Feb 10, 2015-

Around two dozen teachers’ associations affiliated to various political parties have joined forces to form a single umbrella body of the teachers working in the public schools across the country.

Twenty-one associations, previous operating under three different bodies, on Tuesday merged to form the Federation of Nepali Teachers (FNT) to comply with the existing legal provision. Though Education Act 1971 allows a single umbrella body of the public school teachers, there were 21 associations--nine under the Educational Republic Forum (NERF), five under the Teachers’ Union of Nepal (TUN) and seven under the Madhesi Teachers Association--for decades.

Under fire from various quarters for the breach of legal provisions, the associations had agreed on a merger on November 24 last year to form a single body to advocate for the teachers’ rights. The central committee leaders of all the 21 associations had been staying in Kathmandu, deserting their classes in the districts, on deputation using their political clout.

A steering committee, with representation of presidents from all the committees, was formed on Tuesday. It will elect a 65-member central working committee in two weeks.

The working committee members include 17 office bearers under the president. Teachers have claimed that formation of the FNT will be helpful in raising a joint voice for the promotion and protection of their rights, morale, status, and concerns in the public school system.

Lal Bahadur BC, a member of the steering committee and former chairman of All Nepal Teachers’ Association close to CPN Maoist, said the formation of the working committee will be completed by this month.

“The federation’s district chapter will be expanded after the formation of the central working committee,” said BC, adding that they would lobby for an FNT provision instead of a union in the Education Act.

The union is expected to decrease the direct party-based politics in the public schools. There are around 200,000 teachers in 34,000 public schools across the country.

Published: 11-02-2015 09:24

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