EDITORIAL: Good beginning

Tough monitoring and enforcement mechanisms should be in place along with timely correction of any inadequacies seen in the education policy and legal provisions

The legislature-Parliament has finally passed the Bill made to amend the Education Act, 2028 B.S. just the other day, and it will come into immediate effect when President gives assent to it.

It marks a good beginning after much experimentation and politicization of school education brought the quality of the government schools across the country so low that even those with moderate means will choose to send their children to private schools by tightening their belts.

This does not mean that all is well with the private schools which are guided by crass commercialism but the sharp decline in the scholastic environment of the community schools as well as other factors have made community schools lose the confidence of the community.

Among the changes made, school education will from now on be divided into two levels instead of the existing four  Basic and Secondary Education  with Grade Twelve becoming the terminal point for school education.

This will make the system compatible with the system prevalent around the world. Students will have to appear for the nationwide school-leaving examinations at Grade Twelve, with the Grade Ten examination to be conducted at regional level.

As for technical and vocational schools, Grade 13 will also come to exist for one year of internship, which is a welcome inclusion.

Our education system has often attracted charges of producing the educated unemployed. Vocational and technical education needs to be expanded to all VDCs.

Quality is the overriding concern of everybody today.

The test of the success of the present amendment and other measures to be taken henceforth will be whether these will be able to improve the general quality of school education visibly, particularly of community schools.

More than 15,000 temporary teachers will get a golden handshake or they may opt to appear for the confirmation examination, and in the latter case they will lose the golden handshake.

This seems reasonable. In future, strictness is required while hiring teachers by only hiring the best. The Teachers’ Service Commission could play an important role to that end.

The amendment bars teachers from sitting at the executive committees of political parties, and it does not bar them from taking membership of the political parties. This is not enough.

Even membership of the various wings of political parties should be barred, if the teachers and other government employees are expected to work to the best of their ability.

But a tough disciplining mechanism should be developed in practice, and indeed some improvements have been made in the process of selection of management committee members.

If the existing schools are allowed to run under one set of rules and the new ones to be run under another of non-profit sort, discrimination will be seen, and it may not lead to desired outcome.

The government is supposed to make all necessary preparations, such as providing more resources and manpower needed by community schools to help them upgrade to Class Twelve and to raise the quality of education.

Tough monitoring and enforcement mechanisms should be in place along with timely correction of any inadequacies seen in the education policy and legal provisions.

Disabled-friendly

For long the physically-challenged have experienced much difficulty in commuting. Thus, it is indeed very heartening to learn that the Sajha Yatayat is all set to add 30 disabled-friendly buses to its fleet.

These disabled-friendly urban buses made in India would have 40 seats. They would be able to ferry 100 passengers with its wide rear door that would facilitate passenger movement.

They would be equipped with wheel chair facilities and also CCTV cameras and TV too for the entertainment of the passengers and to also provide information. Moreover, these buses would meet the emission standards.

These luxury disabled-friendly buses were purchased from India at a cost of Rs 100 million provided by the KMC.

The collaboration between the KMC and Sajha Yatayat is indeed welcome. They would share the revenue generated by this joint venture.

This would ease the commuting problems of the disabled, and only those who are truly disabled should be able to take advantage of these services.

This venture should be such that it would last and be managed in an efficient manner.