Education budget not sufficient: Ministry

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Education (MoE) today complained that the budget allocated for the sector was not enough to implement various programmes. The government has allocated Rs 63.91 billion for the sector this fiscal year which is 16.61 per cent of the national budget.

Janardan Nepal, spokesperson, MoE, today said, “We need at least 20 per cent of the total budget, but we got only 16 per cent.” He stated that though the budget showed the commitment of government towards education, the amount was not sufficient to execute programmes smoothly.

According to Nepal, total share of government in education budget is 76.16 per cent and foreign aid is 23.84 per cent. Last year, the share of government in education budget was 77.51 per cent and foreign aid stood at 22.49 per cent.

Dr Bidhya Nath Koirala, educationist, said that the programmes incorporated in the budget this year were mere repetition.

He said, “Increase in foreign aid in education sector is risky for Nepal,” adding, “Due to foreign aid, donors might interfere in our educational programmes.” “Government is increasing the number of universities and students in secondary level, but the investment is decreasing,” he said.

Meanwhile, representatives from various teachers’ associations said that the government had failed to address their demands who had long been agitating seeking government attention to their plight.

Shankar Dhakal, president, Nepal Educational Republic Forum, today said, “The budget allocated is not enough to address the demands of teachers,” adding, “This showed that government was not really willing to develop the sector.”

Babu Ram Adhikari, president, Nepal National Teachers’ Organisation, said that government policies and programmes and the budget were contradictory. He said the budget has given priority to women teachers, which was praise-worthy.

Mohan Gyawali, president, Nepal Teachers Association, said if the government had made a provision to provide free higher education for girls, more women teachers would have been employed.

(Source: The Himalayantimes, Published on July 18)