Nepal Report: Revolutionary students shut down 8,000 private schools indefinitely
Posted by n3wday on April 26, 2010
by Jed Brandt
KATHMANDU April 25 — Revolutionary students allied with the Maoists today shut down 8,000 private school across Nepal demanding fee hikes be immediately withdrawn. Business offices were padlocked at major schools last week. When negotiations between the student union and school owners broke down, several buses were torched. As of today, an indefinite closure was ordered as Nepal approaches the Maoist decisive May First mobilization.
Re-structuring Nepal’s two-tier educational system has been a key demand of the Maoists since they launched the People’s War in 1996. With public school lacking books, salaries for teachers and even buildings throughout much of the countryside, much of Nepal’s education is pay-as-you-go. Tuition for Kathmandu Valley is about the same amount most wage-earners bring home, excluding the working classes from serious education.
Bandhs continue in Pokhara following the arrest of All-Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) leaders on trumped-up charges following fights with Nepal Congress-allied student groups. Clashes continue at Kathmandu’s Trichandra campus between Congress students and the UML’s group.