Nepal has expressed its commitment in the international funding conference of Global Partnership for Education to increase budget for the education sector to up to 20 per cent of the total national budget..
The Ministry of Education made this commitment in the context of low budget being allocated to the education sector in the last couple of years. There is widespread concern that the quality of public education has worsened due to the inadequate investment in education for attaining the Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals..
The current budget amount that is set aside for the education sector in the national budget is considered inadequate. The government has allocated 10.97 per cent of the total national budget for the education sector. Education budget is inadequate as nearly 85 per cent of the total budget allocated to education sector is spent on the salary of teachers. Moreover, there is lack of transparency in the way the budget is spent..
At the conference, Nepal expressed commitment to increase the budget for education sector and also to supplement this budget with the US$ 4.4 billion to be received from international donor countries and organisations..
Education Secretary Madhu Prasad Regmi and Director General at the Department of Education Baburam Poudel represented Nepal in the GCE funding conference held on February 2 in Dakar, Senegal..
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal said although his ministry had been expressing its commitment in the international and national forums to increase the budget for education sector, it was quite a challenging job to have it in the priority of the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance. “We are willing to increase the budget for education whenever there is a possibility of getting funds. The finance ministry has to be positive towards that,” Lamsal said..
Educationalists and independent economists have suggested that investment in education should be increased by mobilising local resources through coordination among the federal, provincial and local level governments..
Civil society representatives from the developing countries, including Nepal, who participated in the conference stressed on guaranteeing quality, equitable and life skills-based education in line with the SDGs. National Campaign for Education Nepal President Kumar Bhattarai, who attended the GCE conference, said the government's pledge to increase the budget for education sector was encouraging..
At the conference, various developed countries committed to provide more than US$ 2.3 billion for the education sector over the next three years..
Source: The Himalayantimes, 9th Feb, 2018