The Education Minister leads the bureaucracy that functions under many Ministry's divisions to carry out the Ministry's directives. The bureaucracy further decentralizes from central to local levels to implement and monitor the formulated programs. The divisions under the Ministry are not only responsible for following the directive and implementing programs but also to recommend and guide the Ministry in developing better plans and ensuring the Ministry achieves its goals.
History of MoEST
Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST) was established in 1951 AD as the Ministry of Education (MoE). However, it was not until 1953 that the Ministry took steps to examine the education system and its trajectories thoroughly. A 56-membered National Education Planning Commission was established in 1953 to oversee the education facilities and prepare a plan for national universal education. The formation of the commission was recommended to the Government of Nepal by the Education Board established under the Ministry of Education in 1952 to oversee and advance the existing educational facilities.
After one year of rigorous assessment, the commission came up with a national education plan centered on Administration, Curriculum, and Teacher Training. The commission and its work are marked as a milestone in the development of the modern education system of the country. From 1951 to the 1970s, the Ministry of Education was focused on advancing access to education rather than establishing the doctrine. During the Panchayat era, The Ministry of Education became centralized and concentrated mainly on nationalizing the education sector. The Ministry faces the contemporary challenge of improving the quality of education instead of advancing quantity.
The Ministry bears a history of continuous reframing. It was renamed in 2002 as the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES). The cabinet's decision on 31st August 2008 changed it back to the Ministry of Education (MoE). Further in 2018, Science and technology were added to the Ministry of Education, making it MoEST. The Ministry of Science and Technology was scrapped following the merge.
Roles and Responsibilities of MoEST
- formulation of nationwide educational plans and policies;
- proper implementation and monitoring of the policies through the specific divisions and their branches all functioning under the umbrella of the Ministry;
- regulating and ensuring proper governance of the autonomous educational bodies under the Ministry;
- prepare programs for the fiscal year and present fiscal budget estimation to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commissions;
- coordinating with all the functioning departments regionally and locally in order to create a comprehensive program plan;
- to ensure proper communication of information related to developments in various sectors of the educational field to the public. MoEST functions as an authority for imparting official government notices, which include regular updates, legal notices, and scholarship details;
- to prepare monitoring reports for analysis and update the data related to the educational sector.
Seven major divisions form the entire organizational structure of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. These divisions lead specific programs and are responsible for their effective implementation and monitoring.
fig: Organizational Structure of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
The Administrative Division is responsible for the employee and economic administration. The division ensures proper implementation of legal rulings and efficiency of internal administration. It is also responsible for maintaining and promoting ethical and good governance.
Technical and Vocational Education Division
This division coordinates with private and cooperative organizations concerning technical education and vocational training. Out of its five sections, two separately look after technical education and the promotion of vocational training. The division is also responsible for providing educational institutions with quality accreditation.
School Education Division
The School Education Division is responsible for the overall planning and implementation of educational policies for school-level education, including early childhood and pre-primary education. A separate section handles library coordination and Documentation under the division, and a different department for alternative and continuous education also exists.
Higher Education Division
Likewise, a division for higher education under the Ministry looks after the regularities and is responsible for formulating plans and policies relating to the higher education system of the country. The division also has under it, Abroad Study Permission Section, Education Counselling and Verification Section, and Scholarship Section.
Planning and Monitoring Division
MoEST has a separate division for planning and monitoring, responsible for all planning, monitoring, and evaluation of education policies and education budget. The division is further responsible for coordinating development assistance as well as human resource development planning and coordination. A separate section under the division is dedicated to policy, statistics, and research.
Science and Technology Division
This division is dedicated to science and technology. It is further divided into four sections, namely, the Scientific Research Section, the Invention and innovation Section, the Appropriate Technology Section, and Space and Emerging Technology Section.
Nuclear Material Management Division
The new division added to MOEST is assigned with the management of nuclear material. The division handles quality issues and issues relating to permission, regulation, and research and is responsible for setting criteria for particle management and ensuring factual analysis. There is also a branch under the division that deals with chemical matter and is responsible for the proper administration of the laboratories.