KATHMANDU, Feb 7
Gopal Koirala, a temporary teacher at Sharada Secondary School in Ramechhap, retired after 21 years of service. But rather than joy, the retirement has brought him face-to-face with host of problems because, unlike other state employees, he is not entitled to retirement benefits like gratuity, pension or provident fund.
Appointed as a temporary teacher at the Parsa-based community school, which falls under the Ministry of Education (MoE), in 1991, Koirala was asked to leave on grounds of age in 2012 when he was few months short of turning 60.
A permanent resident of Sindhuli, the retirement without pension has left Koirala dependent on the income of his two sons who are already struggling to meet the needs of the five-member family while supporting their own studies.
(Gopal Koirala, 62, (left) accompanies his fellows at the peaceful relay hunger strike in Shantibatika, Kathmandu on 51st day on Friday. After serving for 21 years, Koirala received forceful retirement empty-handed two years ago. A delay in amendment of Education Act-1971 to give permanent status and golden handshake to 17,000 provisional teachers has left their fate undecided. Photo- Nirjana Sharma)
“After receiving the departure letter, I applied for facilities bestowed on state employees upon their retirement, but the district education office asked me contact the authorities in Kathmandu for more information,” says the former English teacher.
Koirala made enquiries at the Department Civil Personnel Record, but the officials there turned him away saying that there is no such legal provision for temporary teachers like him.
But he is now in dire straits because of the lack of government policy regarding retirement facilities such as pension, provident amounts, sick allowances, among others, for temporary teachers.
His six-member family is now solely dependent on the income of his wife Bijula Rayamajhi, a lower-secondary level teacher. Most of her earnings go toward the education of their three daughters and a son.
Like Koirala and Rayamajhi, many other temporary teachers have received an empty-handed retirement in the last few years.
Thousands of other teachers await the same fate but many still hope that the government will finally do justice to their labor, says Nirendra Kunwar, chairperson of the Temporary Teacher´s Struggle Committee.
Series of protests and agreements
In March 2012, the teachers and government penned a four-point agreement to end the indefinite padlocking of community schools. The authority had made written commitment to start the process of addressing the teachers´ woes.
The Supreme Court verdict
The amendment to be approved by the parliament
To address the temporary teachers´ woes, the draft had made various provisions such as the automatic permanency of teachers recruited before 2008 after they pass an internal selection process; a golden handshake of Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000, depending on the duration of their service, to those who opted voluntary retirement, among others.
If the education experts are to be believed, the MoE failed to lobby for the amendment. “The MoE failed to take strong stand,” said Educationist Mana Wagle.
At a time when the Education Regulation has said that the tenure of all temporary teachers would automatically end on April 13 this year, the last date in Nepali calendar 2070 BS, the government has no better option than amending the education regulation to continue with the provisional teachers, according to the officials at the MoE.
While the teachers´ relay hunger strike has entered its 52 days in the capital, the regulation amendment process can proceed only after the formation of a new government, said MoE Joint Secretary Khagaraj Baral.
“The provision to end the provisional teacher´s term was made with an assumption that the Teacher´s Service Commission would have appointed permanent teachers through free competition, which could not work as fast as expected,” he added.
|Source- Republica DailyLink- http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=69233|
Published on 2014-02-08 05:30:43
Category Archives: Education
KATHMANDU, Jan 4
After it drew flak from many quarters over declining pass rate in SLC exams in recent years, the government in 2013 issued a raft of measures to make all stakeholders related to the country´s education system accountable.
However, a long obstruction in the mid academic session because of the Constituent Assembly election has fueled speculation that results in 2014 many not be any better.
The SLC result slipped 26 percent in four years, from 68.47 percent in 2009 to 41.57 percent in 2013, making mockery of the government´s School Sector Reform Program (SSRP) that had estimated to achieve around 69 percent pass rate in 2013.
The poor show in 2013 was a humiliating experience for the government and the private sector whose joint spending on education had totaled Rs 555 billion in the period between 2003 and 2013. Over the decade, the private academic sector invested a total of Rs 100 billion, whereas the government spent Rs 455 billion.
Embarrased by the weak results, the Ministry of Education (MoE) on June 21 issued a 23 points directive to regulate the schools and teachers under it.
The outcome, however, was reverse as 80 percent of the total students who appeared from the private institutions made it through, while only 30 percent of those who came from public schools could pass the exam.
The result was also in stark contradiction from the governments´ own projection announced in 1998 that the SLC result would touch 100 percent pass rate by 2012.
The first priority of the policy was to make sure that teachers are available in the classrooms when the schools are open.
However, the teachers remained busy somewhere else rather than in the classroom.
A regular obstruction caused by the anti-poll groups two weeks before November 19 poll, took toll on the millions of students across the country. The private and community schools remained open following the MoE decision, but neither teachers nor student could attend the class.
On the one hand, the guardians scared by a series of bomb blasts refrained from sending their children to schools. On the other hand, unavailability of teachers also disappointed those who reached school despite all the hurdles.
Though the 23-point directive made it mandatory for the teachers to be present in schools, it did not explicitly bar then from participating in electoral campaigns.
From voter education campaigners to election officers at poll booths, teachers from local schools across the country were mobilized by the election commission, according to the officials at the Election Education and Information Center (EEIC).
“Teachers involvement was indispensable in the election activities as they are the educated group familiar to a particular locality and capable of convincing the voters about the entire process,” says Komal Dhamala, executive director at the EEIC.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DoE) is yet to ascertain the total number of school days halted due to various reasons this session.
Similarly, an implementation of the requirement to submit a self-evaluation report to the DEO also remained week, whereas the much-needed focus on weak students of grade 10 as per their three months evaluation, too, remained ineffective.
“Regular classes and its reflection in the yearly result, this is all that the students and guardians want reflected in the long run. But this is still too much to expect from public schools since as no visible change has been seen yet,” says Educationist Vidya Nath Koirala.
The tendency to remain irresponsible has faded the charm of community schools.
Following the continued decline in student enrollment, the government in the first week of December endorsed the school merger policy so that schools that have been performing poorly or facing decline in enrollment could be merged with better schools.
Hundreds of public schools with poor enrollment will be merged from the next session. The government has also introduced slight changes in the teaching-learning process.
|Source: Republica DailyLink: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=67167|
Published on 2014-01-05 06:57:52
KATHMANDU, Dec 22
In an attempt to oblige private schools to the law endorsed two years ago, the Department of Education (DoE) has decided on Sunday to end the practice of private schools taking SLC send-up exams.
In a meeting of the committee formed to take action against the Private and Boarding School Association´s (PABSON) decision to take send-up exam for the third consecutive year flouting the law, the DoE Director General Lav Dev Awasthi directed the PABSON to cancel its exams scheduled for the second week of January.
Though the sixth amendment of the Education Regulation 2011 states that a 10th grader with 70 percent attendance in the class is eligible to appear in SLC exams, the PABSON has been denying those students who fail in send-ups from appearing in the SLC exams. Last year alone, 10 percent of the total examinees of private schools were deprived from taking SLC exams.
“The schools are free to conduct exams as a way of practice for the students, but they can´t debar students from appearing in SLC exams on the basis of send-up results,” said DG Awasthi. He added that the PABSON has agreed to withdraw send-ups from this year.
|Source Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-12-23 02:14:25
KATHMANDU, Dec 1
Faced with continued decline in the enrollment of students at public schools, the government has introduced a policy to merge them.
For their better functioning after merger, the Department of Education (DoE) plans to provide a promotional allowance of Rs 10,000 to each class through the District Education Office (DEO), the directive has stated.
Similarly, the teachers working in the two schools that are merged will work in the school thus formed till the government makes another decision regarding manpower management.
The DEO has been authorized to merge schools if they fail to attract the required number of students. However, the directive has clarified that the poorly equipped schools in geographically difficult places would not be compelled to seek merger.
In mountainous areas, schools with less than 10 students in grade 1 and 20 in grade 12 would be merged. In hills, the schools that have less than 20 students´ in grade 1 and 25 in 12 would be merged with two or more schools. But in the Valley and Tarai areas, schools with less than 30 students in grade 1 and 2, 35 in grade 1 to 5 and 30 in grade 12 would be merged.
“The DEO in the mountain districts can merge schools only with the permission of community stakeholders,” the directive reads.
The directive has been endorsed, based on the Education Act-1971 and the Education Regulation. Though the School Sector Reform Program´s standard ratio for the teacher and student has been set at 1:30, the teacher-student ratio in the Tarai region stands at 1:50, in the hills at 1:45 and mountainous region at 1:40.
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-12-02 02:37:34
KATHMANDU, July 2
At a time when the Ministry of Education (MoE) is facing criticism over poor SLC results, not releasing a full budget for the second consecutive time in the upcoming fiscal year would hamper the target set for the education sector, the officials have said.
The MoE has demanded Rs 82 billion with the Ministry of Finance to run the special programs such as ensuring free and compulsory school level education and implementing Prioritized Minimum Enabling Condition (PMEC) indicators in the community schools, which still fall well below government´s targets. The MOE had received Rs 63 billion, the largest share of the total budget, for the running fiscal year.
Speaking at the program organized by the Education Journalists Network, Tek Narayan Panedy, director at the Department of Education (DoE), said that the lack of full budget in this fiscal year hampered the PMEC improvement, which would worsen next year.
Following the failure to ensure 25 child-friendly Minimum Enabling Condition Indicators (MEC) under its School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP), the Department of Education (DoE) last year had introduced five PMEC to be implemented in all community schools.
The prioritized minimum indicators are intended to make sure that all schools are equipped with basic facilities that cater to the diverse needs of students, including physical and learning environments. However, the PMEC report also shows that only 2000 schools have computers, whereas 27,000 schools lack them.
Though the standard student-teacher ratio for each level is considered 37:1, the MoE fails to maintain that ratio in lack of 55000 teachers, the PMEC report states. As a result, the ratio at 28,773 community schools, based on the approved teacher positions in the ongoing academic year, stands at 40:1 for primary level, 60:1 for lower secondary and 36:1 for secondary level.
Educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema blames political leaders for the poor performance of public school students. He added that structural inequality in the public and private schools has increased the gap between the students from various communities which could be bridged by strengthening the public schools.
He added the mainstream political leaders need to give their clear opinion on what agendas they have on upgrading the fading charm of community schools, colleges up to the university level.
The PMEC report also reveals that community schools across the country are in need of 10,000 toilets.
|Source: Republica DailyLink: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=57197|
Published on 2013-07-03 02:44:12
KATHMANDU, June 13: If the government´s projection made in 1998 is anything to go by, SLC results should have touched 100 percent pass rate by 2012.
The government has spent Rs 555 billion in school education system since 2003. Among the total examinees who had appeared in this year´s SLC exams, 78 percent were from community schools, whereas only 24 percent were from the private sector. But the outcome is reverse as 80 percent of the total students who appeared from private institutions have made it through, while only 30 from public school institutions could pass the exam.
“The government spent Rs 2.6 million on a public school student,” said Educationist Mana Wagle, speaking at a program organized by Education Journalist Network on Wednesday.
“The government is spending Rs 32 billion per year on public school teachers alone since a couple of years. The government keeps spending but does not monitor how well it is being utilized,” he added.
From 2000 onwards, government implemented the Liberal Promotion Policy at grade 1 to 3 in community schools, which was introduced to encourage the poor performing students. But the school administration started upgrading all the students to senior classes regardless of their worst performance.
When the pass rate could not exceed 35 percent for the very first batch under new curriculum in 2000, the government immediately formed a committee to find the reason behind the poor performance. The report on systematizing the SLC and school education was prepared spending Rs 180 million under a committee led by Educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema. However, the MoE did not even make the report public.
Recalling those days, Mathema mentioned that the comprehensive report was prepared taking one and half years but the effort went in vain. The committee prepared the most comprehensive report in the history of entire education system. The report was divided in 13 volumes of books with total 5000 pages. The Embassy of Denmark had funded the project.
Around 60 pages summary of the report was also prepared at that time to be disseminated to each and every schools so that they could followed by teachers and headmasters, he added.
“Sometimes I feel like crying when I remember how the bureaucrats buried the report secretly. The results would have been far better if the recommendations in the report were implemented,” says Mathema.
“Teachers still think that their job is over after completing chapter and most of them do not bother even to complete course,” he said. The teachers need to give regular class works, creative home works and also a remedial support classes following the results of class tests or terminal examinations, the report suggested.
Raising serious concern over the current academic status, Mathema said that the country cannot develop if community schools remain weak.
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-06-13 01:50:18
KATHMANDU, May 27: Only 10 days remain for the Free Student Union (FSU) polls, yet the student unions affiliated to various political parties themselves doubt that the polls would be held on June 6, the scheduled date.
The uncertainty arises from the dispute surrounding mass admissions in the Tribhuvan University (TU) constituent colleges that took place on May 16 and 17.
The student leaders point fingers at each other for the current dilemma. Nepal Student Union (NSU) coordinator Ranjeet Karna claimed that the All Nepal National Independent Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), affiliated to both the UCPN (Maoist) and the Baidya faction, have been trying to disrupt the election strategically.
“It is the dispute between these two groups who have the mindset to disturb the election environment as they fear losing,” claimed Karna.
Madhav Dhungel, president of the CPN-UML aligned All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU), said that his organization was ready to appeal to the respective colleges to cancel all the admissions done after April 6, the day when the TU executive committee had announced fresh poll date for June 6.
He demanded an investigation into the source of the money the ANNISU-R spent for mass admissions.
Earlier, ANNISU-R, NSU and ANNFSU had forcefully admitted students in droves, taking campus chiefs and administration officials hostage till mid night.
Meanwhile, the ANNISU-R President Himal Sharma said that the student unions do not have rights to scrap the admissions.
Colleges padlocked across the country
On Sunday, the ANNISU-R had submitted a memorandum to the TU Vice Chancellor demanding the university to create environment to hold the poll at the TU Central Campus, Kirtipur. The ANNISU-R president Sharma has been threatening that his organization would not allow the election at any colleges across the country if it was not held at the central campus.
Rasaili claimed that Sharma wants his party´s domination at the central campus so that their party has a representation in the TU senate. He claimed that the organization has started padlocking the colleges across the country. The student group on Monday padlocked the government colleges in Nawalparasi and Butwal.
TU, unions dialogue futile
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-05-27 23:38:43