Bill readied to enforce free and compulsory education

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Nov 19, 2014-

The Ministry of Education has finalised the Free and Compulsory Education Bill in order to clear legal hurdles in attaining the government’s global commitment to ensure free and compulsory basic education for all.

The ministry this year started piloting free and compulsory education in 13 districts. The programme will cover the remaining districts next year. In the lack of legal provisions for supervision, the scheme lacks effective implementation. The Education Department has chosen Saptari, Manang, Dolpa, Kapilvastu, Parsa, Dhankuta, Mustang, Bardiya, Dadeldhura and Kanchanpur and Rupandehi for the pilot project.

A component of the Millennium Development Goals is to ensure free and compulsory education from grades one to eight, by providing free stationery and admission. The Education Act envisions free education up to the fifth grade and does not penalise parents for not sending their children to school.

“The bill will be tabled in Parliament after it is endorsed by the Cabinet. The bill’s passage from the House will pave the way for effective implementation of the programme,” said Hari Lamsal, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Education, on Wednesday during an interaction with the Education Journalists’ Network in the Capital.

If the Act is promulgated, the government can deny state facilities to those who do not send their children to school. According to the Education Department, four percent children are out of school while one fourth of the total enrolled drop out by the time they complete the fifth grade.

 

Published: 20-11-2014 09:28

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