Ministry seeks high-level panel to draft document

  • new education policy
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Jan 26, 2016-

The Ministry of Education is set to propose the Council of Ministers to form a high-level commission to draft a new education policy in accordance to the spirit of new constitution. 

Shedding lights on his works in 100 days at the Ministry of Education on Monday, Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel said the education policy formulated 

decades ago could not guide the education sector. The current school education is guided by Education Act-1972. The Constitution of Nepal envisions three tiers of government--at central, provincial and local--and allocating the responsibility of different level of education accordingly.

Bringing schools from foreign affiliation under government purview, adopting letter grading in School Leaving Certificate, amendment bill to the present Education Act and formation of Health Education Commission are some of the major achievements, according to Pokharel. 

But what he treasures the most is the plan to draft in top students at different levels as permanent teachers. Once the plan comes into force, as much as 5 percent of the toppers will be appointed permanently into the teaching field after an interview and teaching demonstration.

Currently, a prospective teacher has to get through a written test and an interview by Teachers Service Commission to secure a permanent teaching post in public schools. The School Sector Development Programme (SSDP), which is set to replace School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) in mid-July, envisions boosting the quality of education by appointing talented teachers. Students securing the highest marks from all faculties in Grade 12 will be entitled to permanent appointment as teachers for basic level (Grade 1-8), the toppers from Bachelors will be appointed for secondary level (Grade 9-10) and those from masters level will be appointed at higher secondary level (Grade 11-12). Over 3,000 new appointments are made in the public education every year.

Officials at the Ministry of Education say the plan was formulated after assessing that the education system cannot improve in the lack of quality teachers. At present, teaching is the least prioritised sector in the government service. “We hope brilliant brains will join in teaching if they don’t need to face tedious selection process,” said Mukunda Khanal, publicising the SSDP draft policy at an interaction in the Capital on Sunday. 

Though there has been a significant progress in access to education, the quality of education is still below average. The Net Enrolment Rate in primary education has reached 96.4 percent, but the learning achievement is hovering below 50 percent. The ambitious seven-year plan, set for launching at the beginning of new fiscal year, aims to reform school education as per the spirit of the new constitution.

The Ministry of Education last year amended Teacher Service Commission (TSC) regulation, scrapping the mandatory provision to have teaching licence for recruitment in the subjects. Teachers of Science, Mathematics, English, Agriculture, Computer and IT do not require a licence for recruitment both in temporary and permanent posts. They will instead have to acquire a licence within five years into the service.

Published: 26-01-2016 09:31

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