Nepal Open University in Disarray

January 02, 2022
Last updated January 20, 2022
Nepal Open University in Disarray

A NPR. 24 crores project has been halted owing to the Nepal Open University's abysmal management, which has been running without a vice-chancellor for more than seven months.

Based on global open competition, the university had launched a project on basic teacher education. Due to the lack of executive officers when the program was supposed to begin, this issue has become caused shame in the world's eyes. "There is a quota of three for Post-doctorate and three for PhD positions under the project," said a senior university official who requested anonymity. "We are losing the credibility we have built over the last four years. We are bringing dishonor upon ourselves in the eyes of the world." The program will be run in conjunction with the University of Norway for three years.

He added that the administrators of NLA University College in Norway must have been embarrassed when they witnessed Nepal Open University's horrific execution of the program related to professional development and educational reform of instructors up to class VIII.

Prof. Dr. Indra Bahadur Karki was appointed to succeed Prof. Dr. Lekhnath Sharma, whose tenure ended on Jestha 18. Dr. Govind Singh Bista was named Registrar of the University by Devendra Poudel, Minister for Education, Science, and Technology and Chancellor. On the first page of the Nepal Open University website, there is a section dedicated to the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar's message; however, when clicking, there is no message, much alone the names and images of the personnel.

The fact that the university, which pledges to provide excellent higher education in Nepal through the use of information technology, has been unable to publish the message of the registrar, who was appointed two years ago, on the university's website demonstrates the university's dire state. When you go to the university's website to learn more about the committee's officials, you will see the message 'Page Not Found.' When you click on 'NOU Authorities,' only the names and photographs of two deans will appear.

Former Education Minister Krishna Gopal Shrestha had proposed the names of Prof. Dr. Indra Karki, Prof. Dr. Silu Manandhar Bajracharya, and Prof. Dr. Mana Prasad Wagley for the position of Vice-Chancellor. Since the change of government, the process of appointing a vice-chancellor has been halted. Indra Karki is the Dean of Nepal Open University's Faculty of Science, Health, and Technology whose tenure has only a few months remaining. Ram Chandra Paudel, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Education; and Silu Manandhar, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law have completed their terms. Paudel, the former Dean of the social faculty, has joined Lumbini Buddhist University.

Dr. Sharma, the former Vice-Chancellor, established the Dean's Office, which contains the Schools of Management, Education, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Science, and Law. Currently, the majority of these schools lack authority. "A school cannot function without an official and a dean," remarked another university official. "The university's method, policy, and rules are not documented in any formal form. After the establishment, no legal provisions have been enacted."

Even the faculty research committee, overseen by the Dean, is in turmoil. As a result, the thesis research and dissertation work has come to a standstill. "Many students have already begun working on their theses and research papers, which will most likely be completed without the assistance of coordinators or supervision. There can't be a worst-case scenario than this ", according to a university official.
Similarly, the university's international relations are now at a stalemate. When the academic council becomes vacated, all work that has been completed by it comes to a standstill. The University Assembly must approve the current fiscal year's budget and program. However, it has not yet been passed. Even though the annual budget has not been authorized, professors and employees are being regularly remunerated.

The university was also discovered to have defrauded 22 faculty members. There was an open advertisement for assistant professors and professors via a public notice two and a half years ago, and they were selected and appointed accordingly. After a six-month contract, five management professors, four scientific professors, and the remaining humanities academics were to be offered permanent employment. "Even after two and a half years, the contract has not been made permanent," one professor explained. Their terms are renewed every six months, and all have expired without a vice-chancellor. Dr. Karki, the university's chief, is widely despised. Employees have started agitating against him by organizing a committee against him.

The university is also accused of stalling the disbursement of scholarship funds to the students. Similarly, the academic calendar appears to be in complete shambles due to a lack of timely examinations and results.

Read this in Nepali.