Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Kamala Sarup: Attacks In School Must Be Stopped

Attacks In School Must Be Stopped


By Kamala Sarup

The Maoists have been targeting educational institutions, and if the attacks on educational institutions continue, what will be the future of the country and our children? Getting education and the continuing insecurity, instability and bleak future has led many students to go overseas. The conflict over the last ten years seriously affected the country's educational and national well being and properties worth billions of rupees are damaged.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has condemned the recent bombings of private schools in Nepal. " When schools are scarce and more than half a million children are not in school in the first place, to wantonly destroy schools only helps push its children back into ignorance. Nepal does not have enough schools for all its children. The private schools play a major part in helping ensure more children get to learn to read, write and count," said Dr Suomi Sakai, Representative of UNICEF Nepal.

Violence will continue until we choose to stop it. Attacks in School must be stopped. It must be stopped. Schools, like other public institutions, must be armed with awareness and preparedness, and they do so by planning, preparing, and practicing for emergency situations.

Private schools in the country have been forcefully shut down after a Maoist student demanded they shut down. Maoists also bombed many schools in western Nepal and they also bombed a school in the south-western town of Nepalgunj. To bomb schools is a senseless and cruel act against the children. To attack education and educational institutions is to attack the future of the next generation of our people. Some 1.5 million students study in Nepal's 8,500 private and boarding schools. At present, out of the total 30,82,000 children between the ages of five to nine, almost half a million are still out of school.

So, what have we done to protect our children and schools? Since Maoists started their war, schools in rural areas have been among the targets. They forced many teachers to regine, and those who did not comply were kidnapped and even murdered. Many parents, fearing for the safety of their children, chose not to send their children to school and confront the Maoists. Because of violence, there is no teaching learning environment. No school can function in such an atmosphere. Shutting down schools for even a single day inflicts great damage to the whole nation.

Even now, students who are displaced in the middle of the academic session were not admitted to other schools. Poverty and lack of social services remain pressing problems for rural students. The dropout rate at the primary level is still alarming. Secondary education has not been able to develop skills in students. The SLC results show that the country has wasted much of its investment in education. However, still thousands of girls are still denied a basic education. Enrolment rates for girls are always less.

On the other side, most of the education sectors have become visible victims of politicization in Nepal. Politicians and Maoists are always keen to use the teachers and students to further their own selfish motives. Most of the political parties, including the Maoist party, are using educational institutions as their playgrounds for politics. Most intelligent students are being used by politicians and their future is being destroyed. Politicians and as well as the government have never talked about the basic problems faced by Nepalese students: higher education, employment opportunities and scholarships.

Basic education should not be used for political means. All should respect the student's right of being unaffected from the armed conflict and they should not be used by any political parties. On the other side, government schools are facing serious shortage of basic infrastructures. Most of the schools lack toilets and many of them are deprived of drinking water. Most of the school buildings are old and yet another problem the students are facing in remote parts of the district is considerably long distance they have to cover to reach school.

Education is a vast subject and education enhances one's ability to get better work and become an informed citizen, which is important in a peace. How a country can function adequately unless the general children and population has at least the ability to read and write to know what is going on? If the children and people are uneducated in the country, then the minority of educated people will pass laws and elect officials who promote the interests of the elite rather than the general population. Also, scientific and technical work require high reading skills. Many factory workers required some reading knowledge and some required knowledge of arithmetic and trigonometry too. We should not forget how the most developed countries could become so technically proficient and rich without considerable investments in education so that expertise could be disseminated throughout industries to people who work in them.

Now many children as young as 13 are trained to use assault rifles, grenades and mortars.They are also exposed to disease, physical exhaustion, injury, death and torture at the hands of the Maoists. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS, civil conflict, child labour, child trafficking and natural disasters also have a clear impact on access to schools and all tend to affect Nepal with already weak educational infrastructures. One should not forget, peace and political stability are the fundamental conditions for the educational development of the country, so all political forces and Maoists need to bury their political differences and work collectively for the restoration of peace in the country.

*************

(Kamala Sarup is editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news