It is a matter of anxiety that Nepal’s education system has been badly hit by politics. A study jointly conducted by the Ministry of Education and Unicef has revealed some startling facts which show that the standard of education throughout the country, in general, and in the Terai districts, in particular, is not upto the mark due mainly to political interference.
This is a serious matter, which shows that the government’s investment and donors’ support have gone to waste so far as the quality of education is concerned. This issue had been raised time and again in the past also, but the government and other concerned authorities never paid any serious attention towards it.
Instead, the officials often tried to cover up and deny any kind of political interference in education. Now the government-sponsored study has arrived at the conclusion that political interference is rife in the education sector.
Politics remains the main culprit in improving the quality of education in the country. With every change of government, the policies in the education sector also change. Moreover, the education sector is seen as a recruitment centre for the workers and supporters of the political party or its leaders in power.
Education is a vital sector, which should not be affected by politics and political change. The development of the country depends on the quality of education. Absence of quality in education is tantamount to having no education.
The education system in Nepal has so far produced more certificate holders than quality, skilled human resource. This is one reason why Nepal has lagged far behind in social and economic development. The situation in the public sector is particularly worse.
Our education sector calls for serious reforms and changes in order to enhance its quality. The first and foremost thing we need to do is to free our education sector of politics.
If education was to be free of politics and political interference, half the problems in the education sector would be solved automatically. The other aspect that needs to be given serious thought concerns policy. The frequent change in education policies and programmes often hampers the quality and overall performance of education.
It is thus imperative that the political forces agree on a long-term vision and plan for education so that the education system and policies remain intact even if the government changes. In the absence of consensus on the education system and policies, education is being run on an ad hoc basis. All the sectors concerned must think seriously and work together to make the education sector better, more qualitative and meaningful.