Bhaktapur, November 28:

The turn of events in the country and the pro-Maoist student groups’ threats to the community

have put a crimp in the transfer of public schools’ management to the community. The Department of Education officials said the problem is persisting since the last three months.

Arjun Niroula, deputy director at the Department of Education (DoE) said that the transfer of the schools’ management to the community has slowed down due to the pro-Maoist student bodies’ threat to the communities and also because of the protests by teacher unions. The DoE, however, is hopeful that things will gain momentum after the third trimester. Earlier, on an average phasewise at least eight public schools’ management used to be transferred to the communities.

The rate of handover, however, has dropped to one or two schools these days. “Although the disturbance in the districts has minimised as compared to the previous months,” said Niroula. “Yet, we have discussed the matter with the teachers’ unions who are protesting against the management handover to schools. The Maoists’ student wing had threatened the community with a lockout,” he added. The government has targeted to hand over a total of 2000 schools within the next fiscal year, 1500 from the Education for All Programme and 500 schools from the Community School Support Project (CSSP).

Till date, 2260 schools’ management has been transferred to communities. The CSSP project envisages supporting 250 schools through performance grants. According to a DoE official, both the Maoists and the political parties pressurised the community to demand for transfer management. “Apart from that, the DoE has not received any complaints from the communities. They are doing well after they undertook the responsibility,” said Niroula. In Kathmandu Valley, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, around 15 schools’ management has been transferred to the community. Niroula conceded that the concentration has been focussed more at the district level, which has led to more schools’ management transfer to the community at the district level. Meanwhile, the Secondary Education Support Programme (SESP) mission is taking place here since yesterday. The programme will continue until the next week. It is being held to to review SESP programmes, discuss further action plans and finalise the budget for another year.