From The Nepali Press
Editorial in Nepal Samacharpatra, 19 April
FROM ISSUE #244 (22 APRIL 2005 - 28 APRIL 2005) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Schools across Nepal were already affected by the conflict. Far from being \'zones of peace' they had been turned into war zones for forced recruitment of children, digging bunkers and trenches in school grounds or turned into barracks. Repeated threats and intimidation had already affected school semesters and one-fourth of the classes haven't been held. Now the Maoist's student wing has ordered all private schools closed with the demand that they all be nationalised or turned into cooperatives. It is true that there are complaints about high fees in private schools but that is no reason to close them all down. At a time when the quality of government schools have been dropping and being affected by the conflict, private schools had been offering a quality alternative. Nepal's schools are now war zones, children are being terroised, forcibly recruited and their classrooms turned into barracks. The latest threats have increased the exodus of Nepali children into India. Aside from the economic cost, this will affect their sense of belonging and narrow their sense of nationalism. The Maoists must seriously re-evaluate their own actions and desist from such irrational and self-destructive acts and leave the school system alone. They must stop the destruction and help build Nepal's future.