Kathmandu - With the authority to manage school education coming to them, the local governments have started forming committees led by their heads to formulate policies to boost quality at the state-funded schools.
The constitution authorises the local governments to govern education up to grade 12. The task includes curriculum design, teacher management, conducting examinations and evaluating students. Payment to teachers and support staff and infrastructure building are also the responsibilities of the local governments. The Ministry of Education has started allocating the budget for salary to the local governments while the funds for infrastructure development will also be diverted to the local authorities gradually.
According to State Minister for Education Shesh Kanta Adhikari, the local governments will have all the powers over school education as they start to work in full swing. Each local government needs to form a committee to look after school education by drafting the regulations, changing curricula, managing teachers and staff, and overseeing student assessment.
As around 90 percent of the budget goes to salary, the local federal units will have to generate their own resources to invest for quality education. “We have formed a committee to decide on different aspects of educational management within our local government,” Sahaj Ram Yadav, chairman of Gadhawa Rural Munici-pality in Dang, told the Post.
The committee, which also represents a government education officer, will first formulate an action plan to improve the quality of education. “We know there is no adequate money in the central government’s budget allocated to us,” Yadav said. “We are also looking for resources to generate revenue, which will also be used to improve the quality of education.”
The Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Act endorsed by Parliament in the first week of October authorises the local level bodies to use 25 percent of the royalty collected from natural resources. It also permits them to levy tax on vehicles, housing registration, rent, land revenue, entertainment, advertisement, business and hoarding boards. They can collect revenues from tourism, service tax and natural resources, among others. Excise duty and value added tax raised in each local unit will be deposited in the federal fund, 15 percent of which will be given back to the local bodies.
By Binod Ghimire / Kathmandu Post