Govt urged to reform education sector, make it affordable

Kathmandu, November 2:

Stakeholders concerned today emphasised on implementation of various programmes to reform the education sector.

Interacting at a discussion on draft core document of School Sector Reform (SSR), Mohan Gyawali, the president of Nepal Teachers’ Union, said the education sector will never improve unless the political parties come up with their own education programmes.

Guna Raj Lohani, president of Nepal Educational Republican Forum, emphasised on poly-technical education instead of vocational education. Lohani criticised the government for not asking the stakeholders while preparing the draft document. “The SSR is silent on how to make education accessible and affordable to all,” he said.

The government has proposed eight years of basic education from grade 1- 8 and four years of secondary education from grade 9-12 beginning from 2009 in the Three-year Interim Education Policy and School Sector Reform programme.

Baburam Adhikari, general secretary of Nepal Teachers’ Association, said the reform should begin first in the management of schools. He called on the government to fill vacant posts of over 60,000 teachers in schools.

Student leaders also emphasised on the implementation of the education-related programmes. “The government should invest in the education sector,” said Rajiv Dhungana, treasurer of the Nepal Students’ Union.

Bhim Rai, president of ANNFSU (Unified) hailed the document as commendable effort to reform the education sector. “We are positive about the programme, but we doubt whether the government would be able to implement it,” he said.

Om Aryal, president of ANNFSU (ML), said SSR would be unacceptable to them, if it aims to phase out PCL level from universities.

Director of the Department of Education Mahashram Sharma said the final draft would be prepared after collecting suggestion from all the stakeholders.

Hari Lamsal, deputy director the DOE, said reform in education has been imperative in line with the international standards. The DoE has started interacting with stakeholders to finalise the document before 2009.