Temporary teachers in Nepal shut down schools across the country Tuesday, demanding that their contracts be made permanent, with protests affecting around six million students.
An organization representing 40,000 temporary teachers began a series of strikes on Sunday. On Monday, protesting teachers clashed with police in Kathmandu, which left several teachers injured, according to local media.
The demonstrators are protesting an education bill that proposes only 20 percent of temporary teachers at government- and community-run schools will be made permanent.
Previously, the government filled 70 per cent of vacant teaching positions with temporary teachers, who were given permanent contracts, and positions were filled based on internal competition, said Khem Raj Adhikari, a leader of the protesters.
But the new bill proposes making just 20 per cent of the positions permanent, leaving the rest to be filled by temporary teachers, he explained.
Ministry of Education spokesman Bishnu Prasad Mishra said his office had urged protesters to end their demonstration and hold talks with the government.
‘It will take some time before the bill is passed by parliament. We have assured them we will address their grievances,’ he said.
The temporary teachers were hired by schools across the country after permanent positions went vacant over the years, according to the spokesman.
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