KATHMANDU: Ministry of Education (MoE) is in the final stage to promulgate the much-awaited Education Act Eighth Amendment Bill through an ordinance.
The bill is expected to overhaul the education sector and address issues of giving permanent status to temporary teachers, free and compulsory education up to secondary level (here up to Grade XII) and School Sector Reform Plan, among others.
It is learnt that the MoE is under pressure from the development partners, teachers and other stakeholders to approve the bill and address the protracted issues of the education sector.
Rojnath Pande, deputy spokesperson, MoE, said the ministry had sent the bill to the Law Ministry for legal suggestions.
“We sent the bill to the Law Ministry five days back for the legal suggestions as per the process,” Pande said adding, “Once the bill is returned from Law Ministry, we will send it to the cabinet and later it will be presented before the President.”
He said education ordinance would be valid for only six months to initiate the works that were halted due to the lack of an act.
Pande said that after the reinstatement of House in future, the education bill would be reissued to make it Education Act.
Education Minister Dina Nath Sharma had tabled the bill to the parliament secretariat on May 4 after cabinet approval but the parliament was dissolved on May 27 without endorsing the bill.
Education experts said the bill consisted of government pledges to make secondary education free and compulsory and other educational issues, so it should be brought at any cost.
Vishnu Karki, educationist, said if the bill is passed, SSRP can be implemented in full. He said the government’s plan to overhaul the education system would be successful and free education would be mandatory.
Ministry officials said the bill drafting process began during the tenure of then education minister Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, who signed the agreement on November 23, 2006, with temporary teachers to give them the last chance to compete for appointments.
The draft was completed during the tenure of another education minister Ram Chandra Kushwaha, who signed a 14-point agreement with teachers’ organisations on October 28, 2009. The draft was prepared on the basis of the agreement.
With the change in government, the bill keeps returning from the cabinet and parliament again and again for the last four years, said Pande.
A delegation of the UCPN-Maoist aligned student union, ANNISU-R, had met the President this week and urged him to promulgate Education Act Eighth Amendment Bill through ordinance. President Yadav had assured students to bring the new education bill through ordinance as long as it does not contradict with the existing law.