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Education budget in descending order, though received largest chunk

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, July 13

Although the education sector received largest chunk of budget with Rs 86 billion, the amount is not a cheer for improving the education sector, experts have said.

Giving continuity to the trend of descending order, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has minimized the education budget by 1.7 percent from the total national budget compared to last budget. The amount is Rs 5.1 billion more compared to Rs 80.9 billion of 2013/14 budget, but has reduced to 13.92 percent from 15.65 percent of last year.

 “The educational programs set for this fiscal is nothing new for circulating a ray of hope on increasing students’ access to quality education but merely a continuity to put the staffs’ salary and administrative work at the centre,” criticized Educationist Mana Wagle.      

At a time when the Education for All (EFA) campaign advocates worldwide for 20 percent of the total budget for the quality education in every member country of the United Nations by 2020, the government of Nepal’s intention is doubtful, he added.

In context that the MoF increased teachers and staffs’ salary by 10 percent, field allowance by 50 percent and local allowance by 25 percent, the increased amount would fall sort to cover the facilities, putting development works at the stake, he added.  

Under the regular programs, the MoF has allocated Rs 4.74 billion for infrastructural development where the amount would be spent for construction of 1285 school buildings, nine district education office buildings. Similarly, total 3230 toilets would be constructed in schools across the country. Likewise, 13 poly-technique buildings would be added for promoting the technical education at school level.     

For improvement of universities and higher studies, total Rs 6.52 billion has been allocated to the University Grant Commission (UGC). Endorsing the Higher Education Policy drafted by the UGC, the government would also develop the unified Education Act to govern an entire education sector from one law, Minister Mahat mentioned. To maintain the teachers’ ratio with students’ flow, 2000 new seats would be created for teachers under the Higher Secondary Education Board.   

Without showing any development indicator on last year’s plan worth Rs 1 billion for ensuring computer and internet facility in the secondary schools across the country, the government skipped the program in the budget speech and moved towards laboratory and libraries this time.      

The MoF thus announced to manage laboratory and libraries in every secondary school beginning the program this year onwards.

“These two are the minimum criteria under the School Sector Reform Program and the government so lately vowing for these facilities reveals how unequipped is our public schools,” stated Educationist Wagle.

For marginalized—

Allocating the symbolic amount for the marginalized community such as Dalit, Raute, Chepang; Minister Mahat stated that Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 would be provided to the each students of these community if they pass in first division from the community schools.

Among the Dalits, the Dom, Badi, Chamar, Musahar community students would receive free education for studying in engineering and medical faculty up to bachelor level. Likewise, the girls’ education has been stated to be promoted through special programs targeting the girls of muslim and marginalized community studying in public schools of tarai/madhesh region.   

  

 

Fiscal year        

Total Budget for Education Sector          

Total share in the National Budget  (%)

2012/13                                       

Rs 60.13 billion                                                    

16.6 

 

2013/14                                        

Rs 80.9 billion                                                       

15.65 

 

2014/15                                        

Rs 86 billion                                                           

13.92                                                                                                                             

 

 

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About nirjanasharma

Journalist.

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