Posted Date: 11 Dec, 2011
Category: Education Issues
Various line agencies under the Ministry of Education have been formulating policies and guidelines by bypassing the central body that has the exclusive authority to take such decisions, it has been found.
The policies prepared by various agencies are incongruous with those prepared by other bodies. This has brought not only uncertainty and malpractices in the education sector, it has also raised questions about government’s long-term programmes, education experts said.
“We will not be able to achieve the goals set by various long-term programmes such as the Education for All drive and the School Sector Reform programme, if the trend continues, said Educationist Man Prasad Wagle, a member of the Education Ministry’s central planning body.
“It is unfortunate that different agencies are making policies, which may have far-reaching consequences on their own.
Back in 2006, then Education Minister Mangal Siddhi Manandhar introduced a single window policy to approve education-related plans by setting up the central body, Education Policy Committee, comprising seasoned educationists, including Wagle, and ministry officials.
The committee was still in operation as Pradip Nepal became the Education Minister. The panel held consultative meetings to discuss policies comprehensively. The committee had given final touches to the School Sector Reform Plan and university bills related to the Agriculture and Forest University, and Mid-west University.
However, three of the four ministers who succeeded Nepal in as many years have not bothered to convene a single meeting of the committee. Incumbent Education Minister Dina Nath Sharma held a meeting of the panel on December 1, but it could not take major decisions.
An example of how policy incongruency has hurt the education sector is the government drive to promote alternative schooling. There are three types of types of schools - adult schools, lower secondary open schools and secondary open schools - that work in the sector.
Each type of school is run by a separate guideline prepared by the Non-Formal Education Centre (NFEC), Department of Education (DoE) or the Centre for Distance Education (CDE).
“The literacy drive would have been successful if a single agency was running all the programmes instead of all the chaos,” said a ministry official.
(Source: The HImalayantimes, Published in Sunday, December 11, 2011)