With the school level education coming under their jurisdiction, the local governments have started to unveil their programs to ensure quality education and make schools zone of peace. Sinja Rural Municipality in Jumla district made a commitment to improve the school level education at the presence of lawmakers and officials from Department of Education amid a programme last week. Earlier, PurbiChauki Rural Municipality in Doti and Pokhariya Rural Municipality Parsa had done the same. In their written commitments, the chief and ward chairs vowed to make education sector their top priority, keep political activities out from schools, ensure no incidents of violence take place at schools and provide friendly environment for the marginalized groups including girls at schools.
“Blaming the center for poor education was a popular excuse for public schools in the past. Now the authority of running schools lies on you. The future of your children is in your hand,” MP Gajendra Bahadur Mahat told the representatives of Sinja Rural Municipality. He said small things like teachers’ attitude towards students, school environments for the girls and children from
the marginalized communities and role of the guardians and the school management committees matter a great deal in building a proper teaching-learning environment. Deepak Sharma, director at the Department of Education, said the central government now has the role of a mere facilitator with the authority of managing schools going to the local governments. “As we are still in transition, the central, provincial and local governments must work hand in hand to bring about positive changes in our schools,” he said. The local governments have
the authority to manage school level education with the central government providing the necessary funds to pay the teachers, buy textbooks and maintain and develop
infrastructure. But they will still have to invest in schools to improve the quality of education since the budget from the central government alone is not going to suffice to offer enhance the quality of education. According to Dewal Singh Rawal, chairman of Sinja Rural Municipality, they have allocated Rupees 19.9 million to the education sector to enhance the teaching-learning environment at schools through better infrastructure and quality support. “As the origin place for Khas (Nepali) language, we are looking to promote and preserve the language incorporating it into the curriculum, “he said. “In addition, we are also planning to attract students from private schools to public ones by offering better facilities and quality
education.” Sinja Rural Municipality has 22 public schools and four private ones. The Local Level Governance Act introduced in October last month envisions that the entire responsibility of the school level education comes to the local level except for holding examinations for the grade 10 and 12 students. And while the authority to draft the curriculum rests on the central government at the moment, it too will be transferred to the local governments in the future.
~The Kathmandu Post