Budget 2007-08: Education

Rs 28.39 billion

Kathmandu: The government has allocated Rs 28.39 billion for the education sector for the fiscal year 2007-08 — Rs 5.28 billion more than last year. The government has tried to address the problem of short supply of teachers by creating 12,000 new quotas in the districts where students-teacher ratio is very high.

The management committees of public schools will also be granted a maximum of Rs 450,000 for construction of classrooms and development of other physical infrastructure. There are plans to hand over management of at least 2,500 public schools to the communities because there has been marked improvement in the quality of education in the community-managed schools.

The budget aims to integrate students from mad-rassas, gumbas and guruk-ul to the lower secondary and secondary levels. It has proposed a grant of Rs 50,000 each under the Village Education Program-me to 300 VDCs in 30 districts, where the literacy rate is less than 40 per ce-nt, by setting up Community Learning Centres.

Although the budget allocated for the sector is higher than last year’s, the percentage of the budget allocated to the sector from the total national budget is still low, educationist Dr Tirtha Khaniya said. “The operation mechanism of the government needs to be changed as the structure of education mechanism and management is still traditional. This leaves little room for improvement.”