School teachers sans salary even as Dashain beckons
01 Oct, 2019
By Manjima Dhakal
Kathmandu,Oct 1: Dashain, the biggest festival of Nepali people, has already begun, but most of the school teachers across the country are still not paid their salaries from mid-July, not to talk about the Dashain allowance. Inefficiency of the local levels is blamed for the situation. As a result, many teachers are finding it difficult to manage Dashain expenses. Many of those who are working away from home, including in the Kathmandu Valley, are unable to go home in lack of money. The teachers have blamed that the local levels have not paid them salary with an intention of controlling teachers as they lack human sensitivity. Teachers from many states said that many local levels have not yet allocated the four-monthly salary (beginning from mid-July to Mid-November), including the Dashain allowance of the teachers. Though the federal government has already allocated the salary of teachers to the local level under the inter-governmental fiscal transformation, many local levels have not deposited the salaries in the bank accounts of the teachers. Babu Ram Poudel, director general of the Center for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD), said it was surprising why the local levels had delayed to pay the schoolteachers although the federal government had already sent budget to local government. Some teachers told The Rising Nepal that the local levels, including Lalitpur Metropolitan City of Lalitpur, Baijanath Rural Municipality of Banke, Ghorahi Sub-metropolitan City of Dang, all local levels of Tanahun, Mahakali Municipality Kanchanpur, Chagu Narayan Municipality of Bhaktapur, Siranchowk Rural Municipality in Gorkha have not paid the due salary and Dashain allowance of the teachers. However, Laligurans Municipality in Terhathum has already provided salary of only three months. Teachers from hundreds of other local levels also informed that they were not paid the salary of this fiscal year. Jaya Bahadur Bista of Suryadaya Secondary School, Banke said Baijanath Rural Municipality has not yet allocated salary of teachers. Likewise, Prakash Kafle, a teacher from Tanahu, said all local levels of Tanahun have not paid the teachers since mid-July. The local levels have been regulating education up to secondary level as per the Constitution. But the teachers, who have been unable to receive their salaries even during Dashain have questioned the capability of local levels in managing schools. Purna Prasad Gautam, president of Teachers’ Union of State 1, said that many local levels of the state were unable to provide full salary to teachers. “Local levels seem less sensitive towards teachers’ facilities and it wants to control teachers by not paying them salary in time,” Gautam said.He also added that many local levels were unable to send salary as they lacked officials to look after education section. Shankar Adhikari, chairperson of Unified All Nepal Teachers’ Association, said the local representatives were bias towards the schoolteachers. Adhikari further said it was an unfortunate that the teachers were not paid for four months after the government signed an agreement with teachers’ representatives to provide salary to teachers every month. . Ashok Banju Shrestha, chairperson of Municipality Association and head of Dhulikhel Municipality, said his municipality has been providing salary on monthly basis, but he was unaware about other local levels. But, he requested all local levels to provide salary to the teachers even from local resource even if the federal government delays to allocate the salary. There is a problem even in allocating salary. While many local levels provided teachers’ salary through personal bank account of teachers. Prior to this, teachers’ salary used to go to schools’ account and headmasters of the schools used to distribute the salary. But, after many local levels started depositing it to teachers’ account, the portion of salary need to go in provident fund code was not sent while code number of the teachers’ account and could not meet. President Gautam said allocating salary in school’s account was the best idea to make teachers responsible towards the headmasters.