Police drive to curb student truancy draws outrage

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Feb 8, 2016-

Bhaktap police has started rounding up students hanging out at futsal arenas, cinema halls, snooker houses and restaurants in school uniforms. 

Officials said the campaign was launched at the request of some parents who believe their children are bunking their classes and picking up bad habits, including drug use.

“The trend of students bunking classes, going to cinema halls, restaurants,  snooker houses and futsal arenas. We are just trying to bring them in the track,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Kiran Rana. “Students arrested for the first time will be handed over to their parents in the presence of their teachers, and if found for a second time, the students will be punished.”

To enforce the decision, Bhaktapur police has informed the owners of cinema halls, restaurants, snooker houses and futsal arenas not to admit uniformed students to their facilities.

Meanwhile, lawmakers, student leaders and parents’ associations have condemned the move taken by police, terming it a direct encroachment in personal freedom. 

“Controlling students, is solely the matter of the concerned schools and colleges. The step taken by police is by no means a justifiable. It is against the law,” said Ranjeet Karna, president of Nepal Students’ Union.

The Kathmandu District Administration had taken a similar decison last month by closing down the futsal arenas in the Capital on the grounds that they were causing students to cut their classes and to take up smoking and drug use. The decision that elicited public ridicule and disapprobation was withdrawn a day later.

Published: 08-02-2016 08:48

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