I would like to clarify on some of the comments made in your editorial “Hard to swallow” published on April 26, 2005. The package developed by Nepal for result-based planning (the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)/Tenth Plan, Medium Term Expenditure Framework etc.) and their implementation has resulted in improved fiscal discipline, prioritisation of programmes and projects, identification and effective implementation of reform agenda, increased resources to priority programmes, increase in pro-poor expenditure, reorientation of development activities towards rural areas in the situation of conflict and increased harmonisation of donors towards government’s prioritised activities. The activities have also helped to control macroeconomic indicators, achieve many of the targets identified in PRSP, and prevent poverty/food insecurity from worsening in the rural areas. Detail report of these activities is being released by the National Planning Commission in the Second PRSP Assessment Report within a month. Annual assessment of the Tenth Plan has been institutionalised and therefore mid-term review is optional. However, the mid-term review of the Plan is scheduled for next year if we decide to do it and was not scheduled for last year as indicated in the editorial.
There is no doubt that there are many challenges. However, the appreciation we have received is on the development, implementation and output of the package that the government has developed during this difficult period. We are confident that we can get more foreign assistance and budgetary support next fiscal year, if the work that we are
doing is strengthened and sustained in the days to come.
Keshab Prasad Bhattarai, Joint secretary and spokesperson, National Planning Commission Secretariat
The article regarding 10+2 education which appeared in THT on April 27 deserves appreciation. But the information and ideas are not fit for contemporary society. Meanwhile, the fundamental goal of higher secondary education cannot be twofold — employment and further education — as such a measure will prove ambiguous. If you develop the system aiming at two goals it is not surprising that you will end up with none, which is the case in Nepal. The inter-transferability from vocational training to general education and vice-versa seems to be a good solution but a difficult one to practice in our academic set up. If the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) both have multiple goals, than what is that distinguishes one from the other? Probably, ‘waiving’ certain course requirements for training at CTEVT for full certification by HSEB would be better than the choice of the word ‘accreditation.’
Dhruba Dhungel, Sanothimi
Rakesh Wadhwa’s column “India and China on high” published in THT on April 25, was thought provoking. Only some decades ago the people of China and India were not so propsperous but that is fast changing now. But people in Nepal are now facing a difficult situation due to the ongoing conflict and problems on the development front. Industries are not in the best of shape and tourism is on the decline. No one thought that Nepal would one day be caught in the throes of violence and the common people would be made to suffer. Everyone should now work for peace and development so that we too can embark on a path
towards prosperity like India and China.
Arjun P Bhandari, via e-mail