Major parties pledge to end disparity in education sector

Kathmandu, November 18 

Promises made by top political parties through their election manifestos to improve the quality of education seem not only overambitious but unrealistic. On the other hand, they have made no mention of the need to reconstruct schools damaged in the 2015 earthquake.

Around 8,923 schools were destroyed in the earthquake. Of them, only 1,300 schools are being reconstructed.

Both the Nepali Congress and the left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist promise to make secondary education free and achieve 100 per cent literacy. They have also mentioned that internet, computers, science labs , e-libraries will be made available in every school within five years.

Although these promises sound pleasing to the ear, it is a fact that more than 34 per cent of the total population cannot read and write and around 20 per cent of the children still don’t have access to primary education.

The NC in its manifesto says it will establish community boarding schools in various rural areas.  Technical and skill development educational centres will be established in every village council and municipalities that will provide skill-based training to youths free of cost.

The NC manifesto also says that they will encourage private investments in community colleges that have proper infrastructure and resources but have lesser students to attract more students to such colleges.

Similarly, the joint manifesto unveiled by the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC promises ‘Modified Education Policy’ which according to the manifesto will be implemented within two years.

According to the policy, it will seek to change teaching practices. The joint manifesto also promises to allocate 20 per cent of the national budget to for the education sector. It says that every citizen will be made literate within five years.

Both the democratic and left alliances have given equal priority to end educational disparity between the community colleges and private colleges, but no concrete road map has been presented to achieve the goal.