HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
BHAKTAPUR: Employees of Janak Education Materials Centre (JEMC), sole publisher of government school textbooks today demanded appointment of General Manager (GM) through open competition.
Employees alleged that JEMC has been incurring an annual loss of Rs 410 million and had around 900 million loan due to bad management.
Currently, Ram Chandra Silwal is leading JEMC as GM. His tenure will be over on June 8.He was appointed by Nepal Government on the recommendation of then education minister Sarbendra Nath Sukla.
Ram Bahadur Kunwar, president, Janak Education Employees Association, which is aligned to CPN-UML, said employees wanted independent, eligible and competent leadership in the organisation therefore they were demanding appointment of leadership through open competition.
He said, “Earlier, education ministers used to recommend the names of those who were close to them and the cabinet used to give the nod,” adding, “Appointment based on nepotism and favouritism had brought JEMC to this stage.”
Every year JEMC publishes millions of school textbooks but students never get them in time. Students and guardians have to search for new textbooks that are distributed free of cost up to Grade X by the government.
This year, JEMC was to print 19.7 million pieces of textbooks, but it is yet to print 3.3 million books. The new academic session began mid-April, but students are yet to get the books, making a mockery of the government’s plan to hand over textbooks to new students on the first day of school.
He said the education minister, state minister for education and education secretary had been informed about completion of tenure of the present GM and a CC copy of the information had been sent to Public Enterprises Directorate Board (PEDB), so there is enough time to start the process of appointing the GM.
“We don’t want political appointment this time because past experience has shown that such leadership is biased and corrupt,” he added.
Kishor Bikram Thapa, secretary, Ministry of Education who also chairs the JEMC management committee said that the next meeting scheduled in mid-May will decide whether or not to adopt the system of open competition for General Manager.
Secretary Thapa said, “If the management committee decides to appoint the General Manager through open competition, the decision will be forwarded to PEDB, which will later call for application from candidates who are eligible to be selected for the post.”