Education Policy Determination Committee (EPDC) formed by Nepal Government six years ago to draft the education sector development programme through inter-ministry coordination has been dysfunctional for the last four years.
On condition of anonymity, a senior official at the Ministry of Education (MoE) said that EPDC had not been functional for the last four years because of the prevalent tendency among senior ministry officials to take unilateral decisions.
He stated that the last meeting, (13th meeting) was held on January 20, 2008, which formed a five-member sub-committee under coordination of Laba Prasad Tripathy from MoE to prepare a draft with details for the establishment of any kind of university in the country.
He said, “Since the committee was dysfunctional, the ministry was not able to take decision on National Assessment of Students’ Achievement (NASA), National Examination Board and other new provisions mentioned in School Sector Reform Plan.”
EPDC is a 14-member committee chaired by Education Minister and assistant education minister remains vice president. Secretaries of National Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, Education Ministry, Women, Children and Social Welfare Ministry, Local Development Ministry and representatives of National Dalit Commission and National Women Commission remains members.
Similarly, four renowned people from intellectual sector are nominated as members for three years and joint-secretary, Planning Division, MoE remains member secretary of EPDC.
The policy determination committee is assigned to prepare short-term, mid-term and long-term policy for education sector, recommend higher education plans to the government, monitoring the existing policies, programmes and their implementation, prepare policy to improve quality of various educational institutions and many other.
Source alleged, “Instead of activating EPDC, ministry officials were busy in taking decision by single person to fulfill their vested interest.”
He also stated that MoE had approved soft-skill policy and Enhanced Vocational Education and Training Project policy without presenting it to the EPDC.
EPDC was formed by Nepal Government on June 4, 2005 and started conducting its activities from June 26, 2006.
(Source: The HImalayantimes)