Minister doing PhD with full scholarship

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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Though scholars frequently accuse our politicians of paying less attention in acquiring high academic qualifications, the incumbent Education Minister Gangalal Tuladhar is an exception. Tuladhar is doing PhD on ‘Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal’s Development Policy’ at Ehime University in Japan.

Talking to this daily, Tuladhar said, “My thirst for knowledge was never quenched. I could not achieve the expected skill even after three Master’s degrees in Nepal. I had applied to the university in October 2009 and following an intensive evaluation of my educational records, I was awarded full scholarship in October 2010.”

Fifty-year-old Minister Tuladhar has earned Master’s degrees in Sociology (TU), Rural Development (TU) and Regional Development Planning and Management (Purbanchal University), with the last degree completed in 2006.

“I am really impressed with the professors’ guidance in the Japanese university which is lacking in Nepalese universities. Our university education is a leisure business, it seems,” said Tuladhar, a one-time schoolteacher.

Asked about the reason behind his PhD topic selection, Tuladhar said his study of regional planning with urban development and separate two short-term training programmes in Sweden and Kenya had motivated him to choose the particular subject.

“My quest for knowledge continued when I came to realise that the capital city itself was much prone to earthquake,” said the PhD scholar. “We can at least have efficient disaster risk management to mitigate the catastrophe.”

The 1993 natural calamity triggered by torrential rain in his home district Dhading was another experience that prodded him to pursue the disaster-related subject in his PhD.

A hectic schedule has affected Tuladhar’s studies after he became the education minister in February. “I burn the midnight oil,” shared the two-time parliamentarian — elected in 1992 and 1999 — from the CPN-UML.

Sometimes, I go to the university and visit my supervisor Prof Dr Ryuichi Yatabe; sometimes, Yatabe comes here to guide me. Yatabe returned just today after a brief visit.

“I have started to incorporate disaster risk management education in the school curriculum,” informed the minister.

Of late, Minister Tuladhar has been dragged into controversy over the vice-chancellors’ selection process in universities. On his part, educationist Prof Tirtha Raj Khaniya lauded Tuladhar’s quest for knowledge.

(Source: THe HImalayantimes)