Government recommends action against two NGOs
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 7
The government has issued a notice recommending legal action against two Non-government Organisations. The notice has to do with scrapping all government deals reached earlier with them after they published a report of the High-Level National Education Commission.
The government had kept the report secret for the last two years.
The two organisations — National Campaign for Education and Global Action Nepal — had published 500 copies of the report which was made public on December 4. Thirteen commissioners, who helped draft the report, had unveiled the 500-page book at a programme at Durbar High School.
A press release issued by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology states that the two NGOs had illegally used the national emblem, and mentioned the ministry’s name without government consent. The press release stated that the two would also face copyright challenge. “….we have thus sent letters to different offices to take action concerning the issue,” the press release stated. The ministry has instructed to scrap all the legal agreements reached with the NGOs with immediate effect.
Deepak Sharma, spokesperson and the ministry’s joint-secretary, said they wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into legal issues, the Social Welfare Council to take action against the organisations and the Office of the Prime Minister, since the report legally belonged to it.
The government had in mid-July 2018 decided to form a high level commission to prepare its report about overall education system to be adopted in the context of federalism.
The 25-member commission chaired by Minister of Education Giriraj Mani Pokhrel had submitted the report in mid-January to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. PM Oli, however, had shown no interest in making the report public, as demanded by journalists and educationists.
The majority of 13 commissioners had then decided to publish and make the report public with support from the two organisations.
The other 12 commissioners who were either associated with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) or were the employees of Nepal government stayed away from the programme.
Dilli Ram Subedi, president of National Campaign for Education, said, “We published the report just as it was submitted to the government, and upon the request of commissioners who drafted it. So, the government is simply being biased towards us.” He added that a couple of online news portal like ‘edukhabar.com’ had already published the report and thus charging the National Campaign for Education with a copyright challenge was a baseless accusation.
Subedi said they would face the charge with strong legal remedies. He, however, admitted they had not taken permission from the government to publish the report.
Educationist Shyam Subedi, one of the commissioners appointed by government to draft the report, said, “We did what the government should have done long ago. Reports are prepared for public discussion so that the government can know what is right and wrong for the nation.
But, this government kept it a secret, we were not sure why.” He added that the government’s recent action was just a reaction after it failed to keep the report secret despite its effort.
Subedi said they would assist the NGOs in the legal fight against the government.