The incidents of padlocking and strikes have become a daily staple at the Tribhuvan University (TU), which has almost paralysed the academic and administrative works. Dissatisfied student unions, employees and teachers’ groups often stage strikes or padlock the administrative and other departments. Some of them sometimes go a step further to vandalise the university properties to express their resentment against the university authorities. They often issue threats to teachers, office-bearers and employees who fail to respond to their demands.
Because of the growing threats from the dissatisfied lots, the TU lately asked the government to provide security to its staff and properties. The TU authorities accused the Nepal Students Union, Kirtipur of issuing threats to the university staff, office-bearers and employees and for padlocking the main administrative office, vandalising properties. It has also created obstructions in the TU's daily administrative work by barging into the office. It also urged the government to take necessary action against the group that is trying to take the university hostage through padlocking, and manage security personnel. Similarly, as a result of the padlocking of the account section, college staff, and employees across the country under the TU have been deprived of salaries for two months while the retired college staffs and employees have also been deprived of pension and gratuity.
This is not the first time that TU offices have been locked out or long strikes have been held in the university, thus hampering not only the administrative works but also hindering the continuation of academic activities. Meanwhile, the agitating student bodies accused the TU administration of providing affiliation to unnecessary colleges and others compelling it to take the extreme steps. Despite both sides trading blames, what everyone agrees is the fact that politicisation is the root of all evils that have taken place in this university which still boasts of having a large number of colleges and campuses across the nation. Disturbances have without doubt their direct bearings on the academic excellence of plethora of students. It is not hidden to us that the TU authorities often struggle to streamline its academic years and publication of results in time. Owing to lacklustre performance, the university reels from lack of quality in its education system as it is accused of failing to produce competitive well-trained students from its colleges and campuses.
The lengthy padlocking, which is an outcome of deep differences between the administration and student and teacher groups, even compelled Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to express his dissatisfaction. At a programme on Friday, PM Deuba mentioned that padlocking universities was not a solution to the reigning problems. He asked students, teachers and officials to jointly work and cooperate to enhance the degrading education institutions across the nation rather than padlocking them. The agitating sides and other concerned must engage in dialogues to end the padlocking and strikes in the academic institutions. Indeed, holding dialogues in a positive manner appears to be key to ending all kinds of problems being witnessed in the nation’s top university that has a major responsibility to impart standard higher education, to involve in extensive, practical and timely creation of knowledge and research in the fields of arts, science, technology and vocation. The TU administration and its student unions must engage towards this direction rather than involving in head-butting out of deep resentment.