Teachers want central govt to regulate schools

Kathmandu, February 3

Various teachers’ organisations have expressed dissatisfaction with the local bodies’  ‘arbitrary’ decisions regarding management of public schools.

They have demanded that the central government take back the power given to local levels to regulate secondary education. In the federal set up, local levels are authorised to regulate schools.

According to Baburam Thapa, chair of Nepal National Teachers’ Association, problems are seen as the local bodies are trying to interfere in all matters regarding school management. “Local levels are supposed to monitor and help enhance the quality of education in public schools, but curriculum development, teachers’ recruitment, evaluation and job security should be managed by federal government,” he said. He also said the federal education act, which is in the making, would make clear laws regarding local levels’ jurisdiction over school education.

Nepal Teachers’ Federation has already expressed its dissatisfaction with some of the local governments’ decisions such as transfer and appointment of teachers and formation of regulations. Some of the local levels even decided to dissolve school management committees formed as per the existing education act.

In a memorandum submitted to the Ministry of Education, the federation stated that it wanted the power to regulate secondary education to be given to central and provincial governments as local levels lacked resources to regulate schools. The memorandum also demanded that the rights to recruit, evaluate and promote teachers be given to the federal government. The federation has also demanded automatic promotion of the teachers, who have worked for 10 years.

General Secretary of Nepal Teachers’ Federation Tilak Kuwar said the local levels were arbitrarily handling the education sector. “The spirit of the constitution is not that they can do anything they want,” he added.

Nepal Law Commission’s Chair Madhav Paudel, however, said the federal government would  not curtail the local levels’ power to regulate the education sector. “The law will define the role of federal government and will manage some issues which are supposed to be addressed by the centre.

Spokesperson for the education ministry Hari Lamsal said school’s head teachers and other teaching staffers did not favour local level’s move to check the daily attendance of teachers and headmasters. They also protested the other moves taken by the local levels.