KATHMANDU, July 12
Forum for Support and Monitor Education Accountability in Emergency, a network of 14 organisations working in education and child rights sector, on Sunday submitted a 11-point memorandum to Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat demanding education-friendly budget in the new fiscal 2015/16.
The forum has demanded that the government allocate at least 20 per cent of the national budget for education sector as committed in international forums. The government has been allocating budget between 13 to 17 per cent of the national budget for education in the past.
It asked the government to provide additional funds prioritising education restructuring and reconstruction.
It said that the upcoming budget should ensure equality and equal access to education to all school-age children as committed in the Education For All (EFA) and other declarations made by Nepal government.
The memo reads that the government should make provisions to assess the devastation caused by the quake and the vulnerability of schools affected by the quake and allocate budget to construct earthquake and other natural disaster-resistant school buildings in future.
Other demands of the forum include budget for preparing Disaster Management Plan with participation of community people in every school; special and additional scholarship to disaster-affected children, Dalits and marginalised groups; training and development of human resources for disaster management and its preparation in coordination with ministries and others.
Amendment to the Education Act by addressing the demands of all the concerned; timely release of budget to various entities in the education sector; priority to programmes that help increase enrollment of students in schools;management and arrangement of teachers, educational materials, Information and Communication Lab facilities; and promotion of technical and vocational education are among the other demands of the forum.
Forum in network of 14 non-government organisations such as National Campaign for Education, Nepal, Confederation of Nepalese Teachers, Education Journalists Network, Education Journalists Group among others have also demanded consultation before preparing the budget, other policies, and programmes in education sector.
A version of this article appears in print on July 13, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.