Budget inadequte to ensure free, compulsory education

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 28, 2015-

The provision of free and compulsory education up to the secondary level as envisioned in the draft constitution is hard to implement as the volume of the education budget is gradually decreasing every year, according to lawmakers and government officials.

Speaking at an interaction organised by Education Journalist Network in the Capital on Tuesday, they claimed that providing free and compulsory education is not possible unless at least 20 percent of the total national budget is allocated to the education sector. 

The Article 17 of the draft constitutions envisions providing free and compulsory education to all up to the secondary level. 

The education budget which accounts for up to 18 percent of the national budget has dropped to 12 percent this year—the lowest ever. While adopting the School Sector Reform Programme some seven years ago, the government had committed to allocate 20 percent of the national budget or 5 percent of the total GDP to the education sector. But the volume of the education budget is gradually decreasing since the last four years. 

“It is not possible to ensure free and compulsory education unless the public schools get adequate resources,” said Badri Pandey, Nepali Congress lawmaker and member of Education Sub-committee of Parliament. Currently, over 70 percent of the education budget goes out in paying off salary to the teachers and other school staff. 

Under-secretary at the Ministry of Education Jhum Prasad Rai said that a mere mention in the constitution is not sufficient to ensure the education right. “The government should allocate enough budget to match its commitment,” he said.

Published: 29-07-2015 08:13

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