KATHMANDU, Aug 31:
While the political parties are busy preparing their electoral manifesto for the second CA poll slated for November 19, a look at past declarations will reveal that very few goals related to the education sector has been achieved.
In their previous manifestos published before the CA poll in 2008, almost all the parties had prioritized compulsory and free school education. Similarly, most of them stressed on guaranteeing technical and quality education for students across the country.
The UCPN (Maoist), the largest party in the last CA, had laid out its education sector targets through 11 points in its manifesto. The party´s draft education policy based on that manifesto pledged to regulate the private sector in education and guarantee free education up to plus-two level.
Even though Rs 314 billion has been poured into school education since 2008, too little has been achieved. The government is yet to implement the School Sector Reform Program aimed at improving school education up to grade 12 and ensuring free education for all students from preprimary to plus-two level.
Education budget after CA election 2008
So far the Ministry of Education (MoE) has taken steps to implement compulsory primary education only in 13 districts of the country, though the parties had announced five years ago to make it mandatory for all children across the country.
Though the parties claimed to increase female representation in the education sector to 33 percent, only 27 percent teachers of community schools are female, as per the MoE´s flash report of last year.
“We can´t abandon the previous agendas until we achieve them,” said Nepal. He added that his party would put more emphasis on technical education this time around to address the issues of unemployment and brain drain.
The Nepali Congress (NC) claimed to guarantee primary education as the fundamental rights of every child, whereas the CPN-UML declared to abolish eradicate illiteracy from the country. The current literacy rate of Nepal is 65.9 percent.
“Education is one of the most unanimous issues we dealt in the CA, so the achievement will surely be institutionalized,” claimed Gyanwali.
Meanwhile, the marginalized communities have been demanding that the parties take necessary initiatives to increase access of their population to quality education.
Most private institutions are out of bounds to the Dalit students because of their inability to pay high fees. The government work to improve the quality of teachers, make textbooks available in time and ensure that classes are run in English language at the public schools, said Bishwokarma.
While the political parties had highly prioritized education issue in their electoral manifesto in the first CA election, they made a mistake by generalizing the issues, say education experts.
Going against the commitment made by their parties, the sister organizations often violate the pledge not to disrupt peace in the academic sector. Koirala feels that the parties should pass strict laws through the new CA against those who enforce strike on educational institutions, compromising the future of millions of students.
Common agendas of political parties in CA Poll 2008
– Free School Education
Likewise, 23 percent respondent felt that the new constitution should guarantee no more political interference in the education sector. Twenty one percent people said that policies need to be modified emphasizing more on technical and quality education.
Research finding on people’s expectation from the lawmakers to draft in the constitution
Priority to equity- 28 %
Stop political interference in education sector- 23 %
Technical and Quality Education- 21%
Infrastructural and Educational Management- 15%
Source: Republica Daily
Published on 2013-08-31 04:54:39