HSEB forms panels to implement pact

KATHMANDU: The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) has formed two committees to suggest ways to implement the agreement it reached with the Maoist-aligned All Nepal National Independent Students' Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) last month.

According to Joint Secretary Narayan Prasad Koirala, who heads the HSEB's planning division, the working committees are in a process to reforming related laws in force and the existing educational setup. Prof Maheshwor Man Shrestha heads the three-member first panel while Prof Ram Man Shrestha is the convenor of the 11-member panel. The task force on legal reforms has Mahashram Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, and Durga Prasad Aryal from the HSEB. The second task force — education setup improvement — includes representatives from three teachers' unions and two guardians' organisations.

The higher secondary education regulatory body on February 8 reached a number of agreements with the agitating student union. The agreements include free and compulsory education up to the twelve grade, quota for five teachers in each community Higher Secondary School and hostel in at least one Higher Secondary School in each district.

Other demands of the students, which could not be readily agreed, had been decided to be referred to such committees to be formed within a month with prescribed terms of reference.

The disputable demands include nationalising all institutional HSSs, putting a ceiling on the fees to be charged by the HSSs, prescribing least number of students as well as physical and educational infrastructures for the schools, 25 per cent scholarship quota and banning separate vehicles by HSSs for students' transportation.

Asked whether the HSSs would be able to accommodate all students if, as expected, the Tribhuvan University phases out its Proficiency Certificate Level this year, Ram Bahadur Khadka, member secretary, HSEB, said the suggestions made by the committees would be presented for approval this year.