From The Nepali Press
Why attack schools ?
Jana Awahan, 8 September
FROM ISSUE #9 (13 SEPT 2000 - 19 SEPT 2000) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
SUBSCRIBE NT PRINT REFER WRITE TO EDITOR
This is the question that has left people perplexed. On 23 August, the Maoists attacked the Modern Indian School; on 31 August they took action against the principal of Arunodaya Boarding School; and on the same day, attacked Bishwa Gorkha Boarding School.
The Modern Indian School has four major shareholders?the father-son duo of Arun Saraf, shareholders in Hotel Yak and Yeti, the owner of Everest Hotel and Sardar Pritam Singh. The principal is a retired Indian army colonel named Ratnakar.
History and geography are taught in Hindi and the school song is the Indian national anthem. A small river flows besides the school compound, and the school has built small dams on the river, which has caused problems to the people of Lalitpur. (On an annual basis, one to two students drown in the river.)
The school is said to have encroached on some neighbouring land too.
The school charges between Rs 2250 and Rs 2650 per month from each of its 1500 students, of whom only 50 percent are Nepali. The Maoists feel that the school is only for "commission agents and capitalists", and discriminates against Nepalis.
As for the Bishwa Gorkha School, the Maoists feel that the principal has been exploiting the students, teachers and other school staff, as also the neighbours on a regular basis. He flaunted his proximity to some political leaders regularly. The Maoists had asked him to show some regret and undergo self-criticism but he had refused. This was the reason for taking action against the principal of the school.
About Arunodaya Boarding School, people had taken out a procession demanding a reduction in school fees, holding cultural programmes, and ceasing the singing of the national anthem. The school management had a couple of people arrested for doing this. The principal used to flaunt his proximity to some political leaders and used to systematidly exploit people and students alike. It was against this sort of attitude that action was taken against the school.