November 19 elections and its impact on students

But do all the students take this process positively? How have the upcoming elections and everything related to it affected the students? Whether or not they are directly associated with the election process, do they think that it is hindering their studies in any way?

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SUPRASANNA ARYAL
The second Constituent Assembly elections are what everyone is talking about. With ongoing election campaigns of the candidates and parties contesting in the elections in full swing in every nook and corner of the country, election-centric programs aired on the radio and television, people discussing elections on social media, the November 19 elections have surely generated so much attention.

While the ongoing election crusade is an opportunity for the students in schools and colleges to closely observe and understand the process, the general strike called by the 33-party alliance has compelled many schools and colleges throughout the country to remain closed since November 11. Many government colleges have even become more or less ‘electionized,’ with young student leaders campaigning inside the campus premises.

But do all the students take this process positively? How have the upcoming elections and everything related to it affected the students? Whether or not they are directly associated with the election process, do they think that it is hindering their studies in any way?

Kritesh Gurung, 17, thinks that the bandas taking place against the elections have made him lazy and he doesn’t feel like studying. A Management student at National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) in Lainchaur, he shares, “I’m very disappointed as our college is not open due to the bandas. We had a long vacation for Dashain and Tihar and after the vacation were over, my friends and I finally were in a mood of studying. But since the classes haven’t been conducted due to the strike, we don’t have anything to do at home.”

He’s is worried that if classes are not conducted right now, the teachers will have to rush with the courses once the college resumes, and it will be difficult for the students to understand the lessons in the last hour, just before the examinations.

Kritesh also shares that he is saddened by hearing the news about people being attacked and bombs being placed at public areas to threaten people. In such situations, students definitely cannot feel safe while commuting, and concentration in studies is definitely not possible, he opines.

However, some students have seen some light at the end of the tunnel. They believe that this is just a phase and will be over soon. They hope that once the elections are held, things will be normal again and classes will be conducted smoothly, without disturbances.

Deepika Ghimire, 15, a Class 10 student at Neelgiri School in Paknajole, is an example. She shares that spending time observing the election activities for a few days is not so much of a disturbance in her studies. “We have to study about the importance of election, the roles of the citizens while voting and the overall election process in our Social Studies classes. Getting to see it happen in the country also means getting to learn about it in a practical way. And this way, we will get to understand properly about whatever we have to study,” she says. She also adds that discussing about the election issues that she gets to hear on radio or see on TV with her friends and teachers has made her become more analytical about the process.

And there are youths who agree that it is better for the students to be aware about the election issues, and be involved in the process, too. They argue that the process may be a little disturbing in terms of studies, but it is for the country’s own good. A number of students enrolled in various colleges are engaged in organizations and groups that are actively involved in providing electoral education to the citizens. Some are helping out the candidates in their campaigns while some have stood up as candidates for the elections themselves, too.

“Youths are the future leaders of the nation. It is the youngsters who can bring about positive changes in the country. And it is their responsibility to help construct a stable government. So it is okay for students to be indulged in the election process,” shares Ranjeet Karn, 37, who has been nominated as the Proportional Representative for the upcoming elections. Studying Master’s in Sociology in Tri-Chandra College in Durbar Marg, he says that being involved in the elections means working for the country’s betterment.

On the other hand, 22-year-old Sunil Bhattarai strongly believes that it depends on the student himself, whether or not he can manage with the studies as well as politics. A Postgraduate student of English at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Exhibition Road, he believes that only if a student is confident about managing to study well along with being involved in politics, should he be allowed to go for it.

“It’s not ethical to use students forcefully for various activities related with elections. But sadly, that’s been the case in Nepal for a very long time. And we can hear of examples of political leaders providing them with lunch and other incentives for using them to publicize their parties. This should be stopped,” he argues.

“Only those students who consider politics a service and not a business should be allowed to get actively involved in the election process. Such students are clear about their goals and will do good for the country, and at the same time, will manage to do well in their studies and career too,” he concludes.

source: ARYAL,SUPRASANNA (2013),"November 19 elections and its impact on students ",republica,13 nov 2013

2013-11-14 | EducateNepal

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