Kathmandu, January 11
Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel today said that there was need of a new education policy to resolve the crisis in the education sector.
Inaugurating the sixth Annual General Meeting of Education Journalists Network (EJON) today, Pokharel stressed the need to transform the education sector through a new education policy.
He stated that there were five major challenges facing this sector at present.
He said, “Access to education, quality, research-oriented education system, education that will produce manpower competent enough to manage in the international scenario and introducing the use of science and technology in the education system were the major challenges in this sector,” adding, “The Education Bill forwarded by the House to the concerned committee for discussion would address some issues, but not all, so we need a new education policy to develop a new education system.”
He informed that he has been talking to many senior officials and others concerned regarding holding a national conference on practical education.
“We want to talk to education stakeholders and other people from different spheres of life regarding practical education, the need of certain type of human resources for development of the country as well as the issues of the new education policy,” he said.
He claimed that the country has immense natural beauty and natural resources which can be cashed, but for that too, the country needs education and educated people.
“King Prithvi Narayan Shah united the country geographically. At present, we need another unification in the country and education could be a medium for such unification,” he added.
He also assured that the Ministry of Education was going to prepare a work-plan by January 24 for the reconstruction of 8,000 schools and classrooms damaged by the earthquake on April 25 and May 12, 2015.
Currently, MoE officials are visiting different districts to monitor damaged schools and to prepare appropriate plans to support those schools.
Ranju Jha, president, Parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Social Welfare and Senior Citizens, said the quality of education in the country will determine the quality of human resources, which is the most important factor for development of the country.
She said that the Bill on the eighth amendment to Education Act 1971 has been tabled in the committee for further discussion and many amendment proposals had been put forth so there was need for comprehensive discussions before giving it the final nod.
Ganga Lal Tuladhar, former education minister, said there was need to restructure the education sector at a time when the country itself was undergoing the process of restructuring.
He further said that the present Education Act was not comprehensive enough to address all problems in the education sector.
Thus there was a need of another comprehensive Education Act.
Similarly other speakers also discussed the need to pass the Education Bill and address the demands of various groups of people involved in the education sector as well as they also had felt the need to revise certain issues such as providing technical and vocational education to kids aged around 13 to 14 years, among other things.
A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.