Ministry, chief secy at odds over education regulations

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Somlal Subedi rejects Education Regulations for discussion in the Cabinet arguing that the rules go against the jurisdiction of the newly created local level units

Mar 27, 2017-A rift has surfaced between the Education Ministry and Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi after he rejected Education Regulations for discussion in the Cabinet arguing that the rules would go against the jurisdiction of the newly created local level units.

The regulations are necessary to implement several clauses of the eighth amendment to the Education Act-1972, which provisions restructuring of the school education. 

The ministry, in consultation with the stakeholders and approval from the 

ministries of Finance and Law, tried unsuccessfully to register the regulations on March 21.

Probable Cabinet agenda are registered at the Prime Minister’s Office prior to discussion in the council of ministers. Education Minister Dhani Ram Poudel said the chief secretary has no authority to stop any agenda from discussion.

“It’s the Cabinet that decides on it, not the chief secretary,” he said during a press meet organised by the Education Journalists’ Network in the Capital on Sunday.

Officials at the Education Ministry said the regulations were rejected citing that several provisions of it breach the jurisdictions of the municipal and village councils. 

The new local units have got the authority to decide on education up to grade 12, ranging from formulation of curriculum and teacher management to holding examinations. The draft rules further specify the restructuring of the school education, retirement package for temporary teachers and formation of the regional examination boards, among others.

The amendments to the Education Act that were passed by the Legislature-Parliament in June last year have not been fully implemented in the lack of regulations. Education Minister Poudel claimed that the ongoing Acts and regulations are applicable unless Parliament decides to repeal old laws.

The government’s plan to manage around 23,000 temporary teachers has been held in the lack of regulations. An additional Rs27 billion is needed immediately to implement the new Act. 

“I am committed to endorsing the regulations at any cost. I will discuss the issue seriously,” Minister Poudel said.

Chief Secretary Subedi was not available for comments despite the Post’s attempts to contact him. According to education expert Mana Prasad Wagle, the government has to take a political decision in consensus to avoid such complexities in the transitional period.

Published: 27-03-2017 08:35

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