KATHMANDU, Dec 21: A taskforce formed by the government is mulling to draft a policy to provide public land to community schools on lease to check encroachment.
The cabinet meeting held on November 1 had formed the taskforce headed by the education minister to submit a draft policy that would check encroachment on public land.
Currently, around 33,000 community schools are operating in the country. “As public schools are the ones to implement the government policy of ensuring access of all children to affordable education, public lands would be given on lease to these schools depending on their needs,” said Education Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha.
“Leasing public land to public schools would help check encroachment,” said Shrestha, adding, “The Education Act 1971 provisions that, a piece of land granted by the government or an individual to establish public school automatically becomes the schools´ property, whereas the Education Regulation 2002 describes the property comes into schools´ possession after 25 years,” he said.
Following the complaints of rampant misuse of public land, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) last year had directed the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM) to stop permitting public organizations to use the land, said Krishna Bahadur Raut, spokesperson for the ministry.
“The existing laws only allows use of public land by schools, local clubs, non-government organizations and autonomous bodies but they are increasingly being used commercially due to lack of effective monitoring mechanism,” said Raut.
The nine member committee will submit the draft policy to the prime minister´s office by the end of this month, officials said.