House panel finalises bill to amend Edu Act

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Committee chairperson says final draft will be tabled for endorsement on Wednesday. If no accord, bill would be put to vote

May 25, 2016-The parliamentary Committee on Women, Children and Social Welfare has finalised the draft bill on eighth amendment to the Education Act-1972 which envisions the restructuring of school-level education and provide a golden handshake to thousands of temporary teachers.

The committee, after three months of discussion, finalised the draft that will be endorsed by the panel before tabling it in the full House. The eighth amendment process in the Act that started some six years ago to set the legal background for the implementation of School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) has yet to be completed. The new Act envisions phasing out the Higher Secondary Education Board, incorporating Plus Two level in school education and ending the decades-long problem of temporary teachers.

It also envisions outlawing the current provision of registering private schools under the company law, making it mandatory for new ones to be registered as cooperatives. Private school operators, who also have representation in Parliament, however, are against the provision. They have been demanding that the schools be governed by the Company Act.

Ranju Jha, chairperson of the committee, said the final draft of the bill will be put in the panel for endorsement on Wednesday. If there is no consensus, the draft would be put to a vote. “We are committed to tabling the bill in the full House in the upcoming session that starts on Thursday,” said Jha. As conceptualised by the SSRP, the amendment aims at restructuring school level education at basic (grades one to eight) and secondary levels (grades nine to 12) from the existing primary (grades one to five), lower-secondary (grades six to eight), secondary (grades nine to 10) and higher secondary (grades 11 to 12) levels. The Higher Secondary Education Board will be replaced by the Central Examination Board, and SLC exams will go regional while central assessment will be held only in grade 8.

The bill also has a provision whereby temporary teachers recruited before February 2011 can either compete for 40 percent reserved posts in total vacancies or choose the golden handshake deal, which offers a severance sum between Rs100,000 and Rs400,000 based on their service period.

The deal will be provided under three categories: those with service period of 5-10 years, 10 to 15 years and 15 years and above. 

Temporary teachers who fall under the first category will be entitled to an amount equal to 15 days’ salary for each service year, while those coming under the second and third categories will be paid one month’s and 45 days’ salary, respectively, for each year of service period. Although the ministry had decided to end the temporary posting of teachers by 2014, terms of temporary teachers was extended to 2018 due to the delay in amending the Act.

Published: 25-05-2016 07:54

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