What lies behind the upward trend of resignation among public school teachers in Nepal

Nepal is expected to vote for local level representatives in May this year, and teachers, who hold significant social and political clout in local levels, aspire for various posts. A government job, however, disallows them from contesting the elections.

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: Last month, as many as 114 permanent teachers employed in Nepal’s public schools resigned from their jobs, according to data supplied by the Rastriya Kitabkhana (Shikshak), a government body that keeps records of government school teachers. This number is huge by any standards and reflects the trend of the rising number of resignations among government-employed teachers. In the first half of the ongoing fiscal year, as many as 1025 such teachers have already resigned from their posts, in contrast to  797 resignations in the whole of the last fiscal. The resignations are expected to trend upwards.

Behind this trend lies orders issued by the Election Commission and the Supreme Court that disallow government teachers from engaging in party politics. Teachers are promoted and honored at the behest of political parties in Nepal. The country is expected to vote for local level representatives in May this year, and teachers, who hold significant social and political clout at local levels, aspire for various posts. A government job, however, disallows them from contesting the elections, and this is why the resignation is on the rise, said Ram Raj Khakurel, director general at Rastriya Kitabkhana (Shikshak).

Almost all the teachers who are involved in party politics have completed their tenure and are eligible for pension, according to Khakurel. Moreover, local levels provide various facilities and opportunities to encourage teachers to resign once they are eligible for pension. Local levels have decided to provide Nrs 1,00,000 to 5,00,000 to former teachers in order to appoint new teachers by replacing the old ones.

“These attractive facilities by local levels are also one of the reasons that are encouraging government teachers to resign, after the completion of their service period,” said Khakurel.

Furthermore, there are also many teachers resigning without completing the service period expressing dissatisfaction with the appointment of posts fixed by the municipalities. According to the Rastriya Kitabkhana, there are a total of 1,07,860 posts for permanent teachers in community schools across the country. Of that, the Teacher Service Commission has started the process to fill about 17,000 vacant posts for permanent teachers. As many as 2,34,594 aspirants have applied to appear in the vacancy examination to be conducted by the commission next month.

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