Ministry of Education (MoE) Nepal is all set to implement a no-advertisements policy for the entire academic sector. MoE, which has recently worked out a policy to this effect, is to present its agenda at the next cabinet meeting for its approval.
According to a statement by Minister for Education Dina Nath Sharma, the government is moving to control commercialization in the education sector, which has put quality education beyond the reach of poor families.
“Education is completely a service-oriented sector but it has been made a sellable commodity like any other product through advertising,” said Minister Sharma, adding, “Restriction on advertisements will be enforced in this sector to stop its commercialization like a business.”
Speaking at a function organized for the handover of the Private and Boarding Schools Guideline 2012 on Friday, Sharma directed officials of the Department of Education (DoE) and district education offices to be strict against schools found disregarding the Education Act and Regulations in any way.
The guideline, prepared by a nine-member committee led by DoE Director Tek Naryan Pandey, includes a provision limiting the weight of school bags as per the class level. The policy covers students from primary to secondary levels. Children of pre-primary level will not be required to carry school bags at all.
Though the weight of school bags and the number of textbooks students have to carry have been an issue for a long time, no firm measures have been taken in this regard before, said DoE Director Pandey.
Students of class 1-5 can carry up to 4 kg including textbooks, other education material and a lunch box in their school bags. Students of class 5-8 can carry 6 kg, whereas secondary level students have been limited to 8 kg, reads the new policy.
“The guideline also authorizes government bodies to scrap the license of schools found flouting it,” said Pandey.
Highlights of Private and Boarding Schools Guideline 2012:
Admission fee and monthly fees of private schools have been fixed
Weight of school bags set at 4 kg for classes 1-5 and 8 kg for secondary level
A piece of open land for conducting school assembly and as playground must for a school
Cleanliness and greenery in school premise have to be maintained
One toilet for 50 students, girl-friendly toilets and change room for girls to be assured
The travel distance to school can be up to 18 km in Kathmandu Valley and 25 km outside the valley.
Regulates school hostel management as well.
(Source: Republica National Daily Published on 2012-10-06 )