Kathmandu, June 21
The Supreme Court has stayed the government’s decision to deny no objection certificate to students who intend to study abroad before passing Grade XII examinations.
A single bench of Justice Sushmalata Mathema issued the order in response to a public interest litigation filed by Advocate Ram Dutta Ojha. This interim order will remain in effect till June 23 when the apex court, after hearing the arguments from both sides of the case, will decide whether or not the stay order should remain in effect. The bench also issued a show cause notice to the government.
The Ministry of Education and Science and Technology had, on June 12, decided to deny NOC for studying abroad to students who have not passed Grade XII exams.
The petitioner argued that as per Scholarship Act and Scholarship Regulations, the government had no right to issue notice prohibiting people from seeking NOC for studying abroad without passing Grade XII exams.
The petitioner argued that the prohibition was a violation of people’s right to equality and children’s right to education guaranteed by the constitution and Children’s Act.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had published a notice on June 12, stating that students who have completed Grade XII or equivalent will be given ‘no objection certificates’ to study abroad only if they intend to pursue academic courses of bachelor’s level or above. NOC is also essential to get foreign currency exchange facility.
Many Australia-bound Nepali students join technical and vocational institutions. This is common among those pursuing nursing courses.
Countries such as Australia, Germany and Switzerland are well known for their technical and vocational education courses. If the ministry’s decision is implemented, many Nepali students who have not passed Grade XII, but want to pursue vocational training in foreign countries won’t be able to do that.
The petitioner has named Education and Science and Technology, Foreign Education Bureau of the ministry and under-secretary of the ministry Maheshwar Sharma as defendants.
A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.