DADELDHURA, Sept 29: In what could reinforce a widely held presumption that teachers are the main guilty in public schools´ dismal performance, nearly half of government school teachers in the district have allegedly been found involved in deforestation in the Inner Madhesh area of Dadeldhura district.
Nearly one fourth of a total 196 local people, against whom the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed cases at the Special Court for illegal tree-felling and smuggling, are public school teachers.
The CIAA has charged them for illegal logging by occupying key posts in various community forest users´ groups.
As many as 41 teachers of public schools have been charged with deforestation in Jogbudha, Sirsha and Aletar VDCs, which form Dadeldhura´s Inner Madhesh area. Many other members of the School Management Committee (SMC) have been charged with illegal logging.
Dadeldhura´s Inner Madhesh area is considered to be the widely worst deforested part of the district. The CIAA has claimed that nearly 700,000 cubic feet of timber, mostly sal (Shorea Robusta), were smuggled from three VDCs of Dadeldhura in the last year alone.
“It is shocking that so many teachers have been found involved in deforestation,” said Kailash Kumar Pandey, vice president of Nepali Congress, Dadeldhura, adding, “As many as four teachers of a school have also been charged with deforestation by the CIAA.”
In recent years, increasingly more teachers were being attracted to occupy key posts in forest groups than focusing on teaching in Dadeldhura.