Panel to study Higher Education Bill


Himalayan News Service

Ministry of Education (MoE) has formed a nine-member taskforce under the coordination of MoE Joint-secretary Arjun Bhandari to study the Higher Education Bill, also known as the umbrella act for universities.

A meeting held on December 18 between Education Minister Dina Nath Sharma and representatives of Nepal Public Campus Association (NPCA) and Nepal Public Campus Teachers’ Association (NPCTA), the umbrella organisation of public campus teachers working in 375 community-run colleges across the district, had decided to form a taskforce that would be tasked with the study of the Higher Education Bill.

The taskforce includes joint secretaries of MoE namely Janardan Nepal, Laba Dev Awasthi, NPCA President Baikuntha Neupane, vice presidents of NPCA Ishwor Gautam, Dhana Lal Maharjan, NPCTA President Gopal Panday, senior vice president Durga Dutta Poudel and general secretary Narendra Koirala.

Maharjan, vice president, NPCA said the taskforce has been assigned to study whether the Higher Education Bill can address their demand for establishment of a separate Nepal Public University.

The NPCA vice-president went on to inform, “The recently formed taskforce has been given 15 days to carry out an intensive study of the bill that was tabled in Parliament on November 3
for further discussion.”

He said that the education minister had assured that if the taskforce found that the bill did not address their demands, he would table the Nepal Public University bill drafted by the University Grants Commission two years back, to the Cabinet.

More than 500 public campus teachers from across the country had staged a sit-in in front of the MoE to press the government to fulfil their demands.

Maharjan further informed that a meeting of NPCA and NPCTA organised this morning had decided to call off their pre-scheduled strike.

Protest programmes including sit-in before MoE from December 18, sit-in in Chitwan district by public campus teachers and public on December 20, sit-in before all District Administration Offices for two hours from 11:00 am from December 21.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)