Private schools have become the latest victims of Mohan Baidya led CPN-Maoist which terrorised numerous schools in the past week. Although the death of seven-year-old Kajol Fathima in a similar bus attack during the 'people's war', continues to haunt the mother party, the recently split faction has resorted to the same tactic of spreading fear to extort money.
While the use of foreign names to lure and sometimes trick students to schools and colleges is questionable, changing such practices isn't the responsibility of a political party. There are government organisations to monitor the quality and operation of educational institutes. Parties can implement their policies when they are in government but shouldn't resort to violence and vandalism. Such tramautising events leave deep psychological scars on the minds of young students and cheat parents of their hard earned money.
No matter how much private schools are criticised, their contribution in improving the quality of education in Nepal cannot be denied. Since the quality of state schools had dropped significantly in the absence of effective management, private schools stepped in and took advantage of the situation. As parents spend a huge part of their earnings on their children's education, many schools now have huge endowments. The Maoists understand this which is why they make schools their primary target time and again.
A school's name shouldn't really matter as long as it provides quality education. But the cadres of revolutionary parties have resorted to cheap tactics to earn quick buck on the pretext of schools having non-Nepali names. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, whose UCPN (Maoist) attacked and shut down Sanskrit schools a few years ago, is singing praises about Sanskrit and its importance today.
For the CPN-Maoist, addressing the problems of the farmers reeling under fertiliser shortage isn't as profitable as vandalising schools as the latter is likely to provide moolah for the newly formed party. And the protest against schools will most likely end as soon as the party coffers are full. Instead of terrorising the future generation, the party should first try to change its name into Nepali.