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Schools in Nepal demand re-opening as virus cases decline

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (AP) – Schools in Nepal yesterday demanded the government open up physical classes that were shut down for weeks as the number of COVID-19 cases began to decline.

Teachers said online education was limited to only a small part of the population living in the urban parts of the Himalayan country while a majority of students were being deprived of their chance to learn.

The number of coronavirus cases fuelled by the Omicron variant has peaked in the past weeks but was declining in the last few days.

“We are ready to open the schools, students are eager to get back, guardians are willing to send their children and the number of virus cases are on the decline so there is no reason for the government to continue the ban on schools,” said President of the Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal Tika Ram Puri. Puri said they want schools to re-open by next week.

“The standard of education is deteriorating and students are getting the wrong idea about education in the country because of the long and frequent shutdown of schools,” said high school science teacher

Sangina Gomja. “Students in the villages haven’t had much education in the past two years.”

Nepalese students offer prayers at a school during Shri Panchami festival in Kathmandu. PHOTO: AP