JHAPA, Oct 9: Temporary teachers of a community-based school in Jhapa district have found a bizarre way to demand allowances for uniform. They wear shorts to school.
To make their protest, dubbed as ´shorts-movement´, more effective and amusing, the agitating teachers have continued wearing ties even after renouncing formal pants.
Eight temporary teachers of Bansbari Lower Secondary School in Topgachhi VDC of Jhapa district, who have joined the shorts-movement, said that they will continue with their protest program unless the government agreed to provide them yearly allowances for uniform.
The school administration and the management committee remain helpless in the face of the teachers wearing shorts entering the class-rooms and have done nothing to prevent them for the breach of discipline.
The government has made it mandatory for all male teachers of public schools to wear uniforms, white-striped shirts and black-striped pants. Similarly, female teachers have to wear pink saris with Dhaka-borders. The government provides a yearly uniform allowance of Rs 7,200 for every teacher.
The temporary teachers are up in arms because only permanent teachers are entitled to the uniform allowances.
“Permanent teachers come to the school wearing uniform,” said Baburam Koirala, one of the agitating teachers. “We have no uniform to wear.”
Even if there is no provision of uniform allowances for temporary teachers, the school administration must provide us uniform out of its internal resources, say the agitating teachers.
Teacher unions have also supported the temporary teachers´ demand for uniform allowances. “They should not be deprived of uniform allowances,” said Tej Prasad Chamlagain, Vice President of Nepal Teachers Union, Jhapa.
However, the District Education Office (DEO) of Jhapa has chastised the temporary teachers calling their way of protest as immoral and ungraceful. “It´s an immoral act,” said District Education Officer Laxmi Prasad Bhattarai.