Sixth world conference of Global Campaign for Education under way in Kathmandu

  • Many schools charge more than the government-set fee due to lack of monitoring

Kathmandu, November 16

The sixth world assembly of the Global Campaign for Education began here today.

Speaking during the inaugural session, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the government was making efforts to allocate 20 per cent of the total budget to the education sector.

The minister also said there was no alternative to quality public education for development and prosperity in the country. He informed the forum that Nepal had recently enforced laws related to free and compulsory education. He expressed hope that the conference would identify causes behind increasing social crimes, gender-based violence and unemployment worldwide despite the rise in literacy rate.

Also speaking on the occasion, United National Deputy General Secretary Amina J Mohammed underscored the need for collaboration between the government and civil society to meet the SDG4 by 2030. The  SDG4 is about the quality education with a focus on inclusive and equitable education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.

UN Girls Education Initiative Secretariat Director Nora  Fyles was of the view that any nation could achieve prosperity provided that it could deliver quality public education with the guarantee of inclusiveness, and fair and equal opportunities.

JCE President Camilla Croso said every government should allocate six per cent of the GDP and 20 per cent of the total budget to the education sector to meet the goal for quality and accessible education for all.  She stressed on raising voice against increasing privatisation and commercialisation of the education sector.

At the conference hosted by the National Campaign for Education, social representatives, education campaigners and youth advocates from several countries will discuss issues related to the need for reforms in the public education system for justice, equity and inclusiveness.

Kumar Bhattarai, president of the National Campaign for Education, Nepal, said Nepal should promote public schools rather than private ones. “But the proportion of children enrolled in private schools has grown tremendously in the last 20 years, particularly in key urban areas where the private sector accounts for as much as 80 per cent of total enrolment,” he added.

He further said that private schools were virtually given a free hand in determining tuition fees. “Many private schools charge more than the state-determined fee due to poor monitoring and regulation by the state,” he claimed.

The conference that started with the theme ‘Transforming public education systems for equality, inclusion and justice’ will conclude on November 18. More than 339 member organisations working for equitable, inclusive, free and compulsory quality education throughout the world are participating in the programme.

The conference will conclude by electing a new leadership for GCE.