Kathmandu, April 12:  Stakeholders have suggested the government not to close schools immediately. In a discussion with stakeholders organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Monday, the stakeholders agreed that the closure was not a right solution.

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Krishna Gopal Shrestha said that this issue will be discussed in the meeting of the Council of Ministers. During the discussion, most of the stakeholders had raised the issue that the decision should be taken only after discussing with the ministers of the ministries concerned in the CCMC meeting.

Ashok Byanju, President of the Association of Municipalities of Nepal, said that since the constitution of Nepal has given the right to education up to secondary level to the local level government, the decision to close or run the school depends upon the local level and it would not be appropriate for the central government to take a decision in the regard.

Speaking at the discussion meeting, Tikaram Puri, President of Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization Nepal (PABSON) accused the government of trying to create terror in Nepal. He said, “It is not time to close schools. The closure of schools for 10 months has caused great pain to the private school operators and the condition of private schools will continue to deteriorate. Measures can be taken to reduce school congestion. Reading can be done alternately by taking a day off or conducting two shift classes on the same day. The municipality should be able to decide whether to operate or close the school according to the situation. ”

PABSON co-chair DK Dhungana had urged the government to reconsider closing the school. He urged to adopt alternative methods instead of closing schools and stressed on monitoring.

National PABSAN General Secretary Subash Neupane said running after the rumors would be unfair to children, adding that they could not accept the closure (bandh) and only closed the affected schools.

President of the Federation of Nepalese Parents, Suprabhat Bhandari, said that there is no coordination between the Ministry of Home Affairs, Education and the Ministry of Health.  He noted that only schools in the locality and districts where the epidemic had spread could be closed, not all at once. He said that the schools should be monitored and the municipality should take a decision in case of any problem. Where there is a problem, the right to close should be given to the local level. If it has to be closed, it can be done in a special place from class 1 to 5. ”

FNCCI President Dharmadatta Devkota said that they should be encouraged to monitor and follow the standards and suggested not to think about closing all the places at once.

Baburam Thapa, President of the Teachers’ Federation, said that there was no dire situation outside the valley and that the local level should coordinate in the affected areas. He said that schools should not be closed completely in the current situation

Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Dr. Bhim Prasad Subedi, argued that it was wrong to close down the institutes as the examination time of all the universities was not approaching. He said that the local government should be given the right to close or open after analyzing the situation. Likewise, Secretary of the University Grants Commission Dr. Shankar Prasad Bhandari said that the decision can be decentralized and effectively monitored.

Chairman of the National Examination Board Prof.Dr. Chandra Mani Poudel said that it was not necessary to close everything in a central manner and added that the monitoring should be strictly followed. Member Secretary of CTEVT, Pushparaman Wagle, said that a centralized decision was inevitable when closing down educational institutions.

Education Secretary Ram Prasad Thapaliya and Education Spokesperson Deepak Sharma said that there was false news in the media that the school was proposed to be closed.

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