Nepal | June 03, 2020

EDITORIAL: Abide by law

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

Schools are allowed to teach foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students

It has come to light that quite a few up-market schools, both in the Kathmandu Valley and outside, are teaching the Chinese language as a compulsory subject to the students, unknown to the government and other stakeholders. Learning Mandarin outside the school hours might have been alright, but doing so during school time makes it illegal. And the schools, by introducing the subject without first taking a prior permission fromthe Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), seems to have taken the government body for granted. Only the CDC is in a position to decide which subjects should be made compulsory, not the schools. Majority of the schools didn’t even consult the parents at the time of introducing Chinese in school. Neither is the Nepal Guardians’ Federation nor the Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal (PABSON) aware of the inclusion of the Chinese language as a compulsory subject. The umbrella body of private schools has termed the practice as illegal, but remains yet to be seen how and whether it will take up the issue seriously with its constituent members. What is also obviously illegal is the practice of teaching Mandarin during school hours because schools are not allowed to teach any foreign language within school hours, according to the Curriculum Development Centre. But none of the school has obliged despite being aware of the provision.

Schools are allowed to teach foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students. It is the Curriculum Development Centre that decides, not the schools. Schools that THT talked to were aware of the legalprovisions, but they have simply overlooked it, as they are getting Mandarin teachers for free. A school principal has been quoted as saying that his school introduced Mandarin as a compulsory subject plainly because there was a subject teacher available for free by courtesy of the embassy. The craze for learning Mandarin is growing worldwide, as China has become the world’s second largest economy, offering ample opportunities to people across the globe to maximise earnings. Many Nepalis also want to cash in on this trend and thus encourage their children to learn Mandarin.However, the issue here is not so much about learning the Chinese language, but the way both the private schools and the Chinese government have circumvented the CDC to introduce the Mandarin as a compulsory subject. More than anything else, the private schools seem to have introduced the Chinese language because the salaries of the teachers are paid by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.

It would do the schools a lot more good if they followed the government provisions that govern them. This makes it easier for the government to carry out its responsibilities as it is not in a position to monitor what all the schools are doing across the country. Moreover, under federalism, the jurisdiction over the schools – right upto class 12— now lies with the local government, which is trying to grapple with its enormous responsibilities on all fronts. The CDC, the Local Levels and PABSON are expected to work in concert to ensure that schools are accountable to their actions and that shrines of learning respect the laws of the land, not flout them.

Tree plantation

Lumbini Development Trust, Rupandehi Division Forest Office and Bhairahawa-Lumbini-Taulihawa Road Expansion Project have joined hands to plant as many as 47,700 tree saplings along the Bhairahawa-Lumbini-Taulihawa Postal road section, which also connects Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The tree saplings will be planted along the road to make up for the loss of those trees felled while widening the road. A total of 1,908 trees were felled at the time of the road expansion. Rupandehi Division Forest Office said 46,500 tree saplings would be planted on either side of the road as per the plan.

As per the provision of the Forest Act, it is mandatory to plant 25 tree saplings for each fully grown up tree felled to construct a road. Thus, a total of 47,700 tree saplings have to be planted on the roadside. The drive is a welcome move as it will not only help maintain greenery on the road, but also add beauty to the road, which is the gateway to Lumbini from Bhairahawa, where the GBIA is being built. Buddhist pilgrims and other tourists will enjoy travelling on the road once it is widened and covered with trees.

A version of this article appears in print on June 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Trump threatens military force against protesters nationwide

WASHINGTON: Wielding extraordinary federal authority, President Donald Trump threatened the nation’s governors on Monday that he would deploy the military to states if they did not stamp out violent protests over police brutality that have roiled the nation over the past week. His announcement Read More...

Egypt's ex-PM faces torture allegation in American's lawsuit

CAIRO: After his arrest in 2013 for documenting the deadliest crackdown on protesters in Egypt’s modern history, Mohamed Soltan landed in a notorious prison where he says he was brutally tortured for 21 months. He never thought he'd get a chance to fight back, let alone make it out alive. Read More...

Tropical storm kills 17 in El Salvador and Guatemala

SAN SALVADOR: Rains from Tropical Storm Amanda left at least 17 dead and seven missing while causing extensive damage across El Salvador and Guatemala that pushed thousands of people into shelters amid the coronavirus pandemic. EL Salvador Interior Minister Mario Durán said Monday some 7,000 peo Read More...

ANFA approves annual budget, sets AGM date

LALITPUR, JUNE 1 The executive committee meeting today approved the budget of Rs 70 million for the upcoming fiscal year apart from deciding the date of the annual general assembly. The eight-hour-long virtual meeting, chaired by president Karma Tsering Sherpa, approved the action taken agains Read More...

FAs demand action

KATHMANDU: Four district Football Associations on Monday requested Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to intervene at the All Nepal Football Association’s activities to save football. The presidents of four FAs — Birat Jung Shahi (Kathmandu), Purushottam Thapa (Lalitpur), Gautam Sujakhu (Bhaktapur) Read More...

Baitadi district

Woman dies in Baitadi quarantine, swab sample being sent for PCR test

DADELDHURA: A 22-year-old woman who had been staying in a quarantine facility in Purchodi Municipality-4 of Baitadi district has died on Tuesday morning. The woman, along with her husband and 18-month-old child, had returned from India via Gauriphanta border point in Dhangadhi and reached the qua Read More...

Embassy urges Nepalis who want to return home to update personal details

LONDON: The Embassy of Nepal here has urged Nepali citizens who have been compelled to return to Nepal to update their information details. In a notice on Monday, the Embassy stated that this provision has been made for the Nepali citizens who are in a compelling situation to return to Nepal. Read More...

SpaceX captures the flag, beating Boeing in cosmic contest

CAPE CANAVERAL: The first astronauts launched by SpaceX declared victory Monday in NASA’s cosmic capture-the-flag game. They quickly claimed the prize left behind at the International Space Station nearly a decade ago by the last crew to launch from the US. “Congratulations, SpaceX, you go Read More...