All agreements with Dr KC won’t be included

Kathmandu, January 1

During a sub-committee meeting of the Education and Health committee today, the minister and  ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers said they will not include all the contents of the nine-point agreement signed with Dr Govinda KC in the National Health and Education Bill.

NCP lawmakers said they would follow the spirit of the agreement rather than the content as it is. The government had signed the agreement with Dr Govinda KC, a health sector reformist earlier.

Lawmakers of the main opposition Nepali Congress, however, said that the bill should be drafted by including all the content that the government had signed with Dr KC as it is. They said only the spirit of agreement was not enough.

The Chief Whip of NCP Dev Gurung had registered an amendment to the bill with his party lawmakers to address Dr KC’s concerns. The registered nine-point agreement was what the government signed with Dr KC to end his 15th hunger strike.

The Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel today said the government had included the spirit of the agreement, which they had signed with Dr KC. But he showed reservations on some points that the government had agreed to earlier with Dr KC.

The government agreed to phase-out diploma level education of the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training after promulgation of this bill as law, but Minister Pokharel said that it would be unfair to phase it out so soon. “The ministry has formed a committee to study CTEVT courses in the country. The committee will bring a report after three months and the government will act on this,” he said, adding, at least it will take more than five years to phase out and upgrade the CTEVT courses.

NCP lawmakers Yogesh Bhattarai and Khaga Raj Adhakari said that the intention of Dr KC was to improve the health education sector of Nepal. Bhattarai said if there were some problems, Dr KC would consider. “He doesn’t say that there should be any medical college outside Kathmandu Valley. So, those who had already taken letter of intent from the respective institutions and have built proper infrastructure that the government has asked for, should be allowed to run medical

colleges outside Kathmandu Valley,” he said. He also said people have invested millions of rupees on infrastructure to run college and now they are in debt.

Explaining that the government had collected reports from various task forces formed at different times, Adhakari said that it would not be right to include the name of Kedar Bhakta Mathema’s task force in the bill’s preamble. But in the agreement the government had signed it had stated that the name of the Mathema task force would be included in the preamble. “The law ministry should work on it. There are different work forces in this field so would it be right to put the name of only one task force in the preamble?” he asked.

NC Lawmakers Gagan Thapa and Chitra Lekha Yadav said the sub-committee and the government should follow the entire content of the agreement which was reached with Dr KC. Thapa said the NC was one with Dr KC and his demand. “The government has signed an agreement with Dr KC. There shouldn’t be any ups and downs in that agreement,” he said, adding, if the sub-committee passes the draft bill tomorrow, we will write a note of dissent.