Confusion persists over management of schools by local levels

Kathmandu, February 18

Educationists have expressed concern about lack of laws related to management of schools as district education offices will become defunct from March 12.

According to the section 105 of the Local Level Governance Act, ‘Property, Liability and Budget Transfer’, the offices and agencies under ministries should hand over properties, liabilities and financial works to the local levels within six months of implementation of the act. The act came into effect from October 15, 2017.

Educationists have argued that once the DEOs become defunct, there will be a vacuum in the education sector. They also said due to lack of regulations and laws there was confusion over management and regulation of schools at local levels.

Stakeholders expressed such concern at an interaction organised by Education Journalists Network Nepal today. Local Level Governance Act gives the local levels the power to manage basic and secondary education, but many local levels are not in a condition to do so due to lack of proper infrastructure, human resources and laws.

Joint secretary and spokesperson at Ministry of Education Hari Lamsal said that dissolving DEOs could be counterproductive.

“For some time, DEOs should be allowed to conduct exams of Grade X, XI and XII and carry out other important works which local levels are not currently capable of,”Joint-secretary Lamsal said.

Lamsal also said there were around 2,700 employees under the Ministry of Education, and transferring them to the local levels had been a difficult task. “If all the local levels are given authority to conduct examinations and set their own rules, there will be 753 examination boards. I think, the examination board should be an autonomous body and the government should form a coordination committee at all local bodies which will work closely with the board,” said Lamsal.

Joint secretary of education section at Kathmandu Metropolitan City Pralad Lamsal said they had started working on issues related to education in the metropolis, though there was still some confusion.

“We do not even know about the exact number of schools under KMC, and to whom and where we should release salary and other expenditures of schools. Lack of laws has restricted us from giving permission to add new courses. We also lack proper law to conduct secondary level examinations,” Lamsal added.