Kathmandu, June 21
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that the government implement appropriate financing strategies to ensure free quality education for all without discrimination.
The committee studied the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Nepal at its 2110th and 2111th meetings held on May 19 and 20 and passed various concluding observations at its 2132nd meeting held on June 3, 2016.
The committee welcomed the constitutional provisions on free and compulsory basic education and free secondary education.
However, it also expressed concern about lack of laws to implement the provision and low budget allocation for the education sector, which it said, would exacerbate segregation and discrimination.
The government allocated Rs 26.25 billion, which is 11.60 per cent of the national budget, for the education sector for fiscal year 2016/17. People from various walks of life criticised the government for allocating budget for education sector.
CRC also expressed concern about high dropout rate among girls due to lack of separate toilets, low enrolment and high dropout rate of children from indigenous communities and significant gaps in the quality of education between rural and urban areas and inadequate development of early childhood care and education.
It has urged the government to take appropriate regulatory measures to ensure that private providers of education do not undermine social cohesion or exacerbate segregation and discrimination, in particular by effectively regulating fees, syllabus, admission criteria and diversity of student backgrounds, and other barriers to access and ensure adequate implementation of the legislation as well as ensure child friendly school environment in private sector.
“The government should ensure regulatory and enforcement frameworks, including reporting mechanisms to combat the phenomenon of schools and/or teachers subjecting children to hidden costs for attending school,” CRC said, adding, “State should take necessary measures to improve the accessibility and quality of education and provide quality training for teachers with particular emphasis on rural areas.”
A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.