Educationists quit high-level panel in protest

2017-09-21

Rupesh Acharya

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Protesting the passage of Education (9th amendment) Bill, renowned educationist Mana Prasad Wagley  resigned from the High Level National Education Commission. Another educationist, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, also announced today that he would no longer work with the commission

The Parliament had passed the bill through a fast-tracked method ignoring objections of lawmakers of the ruling as well as opposition parties. The amendment provisions filling 60 per cent posts in community schools through internal competition among temporary teachers.

In his resignation, Wagle stated that passing the bill with a provision to fill majority of vacancies through internal competition was a setback for community education where nearly 82 per cent of students are studying.  “I consider this as the most harmful act in the history of Nepal’s community education,” he stated. He claimed that the amendment had made the act weaker.

Wagle claimed that in the given circumstances educationists had nothing much to contribute by staying in the High Level National Education Commission. “I don’t believe that the commission, majority of whose members are from political background, can make any significant contribution to improving community schools,” he said.

Former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University Kedar Bhakta Mathema, who is also a member of the high level panel, said though he had not submitted formal resignation, he would not work with the commission. “Passing of such a bill will not help improve quality of education imparted by community schools,” he said.  He told THT that fresh graduates would be discouraged by the provision of internal examination for majority of posts. “It will only encourage backdoor entry,” he said.

Mathema was shocked at the eagerness shown by top leaders of ruling and opposition parties to pass the bill overnight.

He said it was unfortunate that leaders were only concerned about political gains and not the future  of education.

“Participating in the commission’s meetings will now be limited to academic discussion,” he added.

The Cabinet had formed a 65-member National High-level Education Commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education Gopal Man Shrestha.

Source: The Himalayantimes, Published in 21st Edition of THT