‘Company-run schools should be made service-based institutions’

Kathmandu, March 26

A sub-committee of the Parliamentary Education and Health Committee today submitted its report on reforms in the education policy, recommending that schools run under companies be converted into service-based institutions within 10 years.

In its report, the sub-committee led by lawmaker Umesh Shrestha has advised that property of such company-run schools should be handed over to the converted service-based institutions after 10 years.

Submitting the report to the committee’s Chair Jaypuri Gharti, Shrestha said the sub-committee prepared the report after holding extensive consultations with stakeholders concerned, including experts on the education sector. Other members of the sub-committee included former education minister Chitra Lekha Yadav and lawmakers Yogesh Bhattarai, Anjana Vishankhe, Ekbal Miyan, Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, Navina Lama and Narayan Prasad Marasini.

According to the report, primary-level (up to Grade V) examinations will be conducted by local governments, secondary-level (Grade V to Grade X) examinations will be conducted by the provincial governments, and secondary-level (Grade XI and XII) examinations will be conducted by the federal government.

The report has classified schools under two categories—‘General’ and ‘Soft Skill and Hard Skill’. It has also set criteria for ‘big schools’. A ‘big school’ should have 700 to 1,000 students in urban areas, 500 to 700 in hilly areas, and 200 to 400 in Himalayan regions.

The report has also suggested maintaining the student-teacher ratio at 35:1—one teacher for every 35 students. Presently, the ratio is 40:1 in Himalayan regions, 45:1 in hilly regions, and 50:1 in the Tarai and Kathmandu valley.

According to the report, secondary boarding schools will have to be set up in remote Himalayan regions with small population size, and such schools should be operated under cooperation between guardians, school and the government.

As far as school investment and grants are concerned, the report has recommended that the government bear 100 per cent operation expenses in the case of primary education and  federal, provincial and local government bear the operation expenses of secondary level.

The report has proposed establishing schools that are more than 50 years old as ‘historical schools’ and required budget should be arranged by the federal government.

According to the report, private schools should abide by the criteria set by the line ministry while setting fees.