KATHMANDU; The Ministry of Education (MoE) has proposed a 55 billion rupee budget for the next fiscal year but the hike of Rs 9 billion from the current one has little to do apart from pays and perks of the staffers in the sector.
The ministry estimates to earmark Rs 47 billion as regular expenditure, a large chunk of which will go on the salary of teachers from the school to the university level. Rs 28 billion is estimated to be spent on the salary of school teachers, Rs 4.5 billion on that of teachers in Tribhuvan and Nepal Sanskrit universities. Pension as well as medical and leave allowances of retired teachers will cost the state Rs 2.1 billion. The ministry plans to disburse Rs 1 billion to schools under per capita funding grant, which will largely be utilised to pay teachers appointed by school management committees.
The ongoing national literacy campaign will cost Rs 1.05 billion while facilitators at child development centres will have to be paid Rs 710 million. Teachers’ development, trainings will cost Rs 370 million.
Scholarships, books and other incentives are also turning costlier for the state. Scholarships to Dalit, physically-challenged, conflict-hit and remote-resident students are estimated to cost Rs 700 million. As per the government declaration of imparting basic education - up to the eighth grade after the implementation of the School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) - free of cost, distribution of textbooks to children studying in public schools is estimated to cost Rs 1.25 billion with chances of growth if Janak Education Materials Centre Limited - the government utility responsible for printing of school textbooks - raises the prices. Free lunch to school kids will cost Rs 610 million.
In the sector of infrastructure development, Rs 3.3 billion has been planned to be spent on constructing classrooms in schools. For the technical education of girls of Dalit, poor and Muslim families, Rs 60 million is supposed to be spent while education, boarding facility and training to freed Kamlaris (indentured girl labourers) is estimated to cost Rs 120 million. Besides, funds have also been allocated to the University Grants Commission and for conducting the SLC examination.
Deepak Sharma, under-secretary, MoE, said the allocation was subject to change since discussions were being held with all stakeholders. The total amount, however, is the ceiling set by the Ministry of Finance. Lava Deo Awasthi, joint secretary in the ministry, told The Himalayan Times that process would be initiated to allocate eight teachers’ quota in each community school running classes from VIII to XII. “Successfully implementing the SSRP is our primary goal. We don’t have other important programmes for next year,” he added.