Edukhabar
आइतबार, ०९ बैशाख २०८१
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Rural Municipal Council asks govt. not to intervene in its jurisdiction

मंगलबार, १३ असार २०७४

Kathmandu - The newly elected local governments have begun exercising their rights related to education guaranteed by the constitution. In what appears to be the first case of its kind, the Jugal Rural Municipality of Sindhupalchowk district wrote a letter to the District Education Office (DEO) asking it not to intervene in its affairs.

The newly elected chairperson of the rural municipality Homnarayan Shrestha has charged the district education office for trying to appoint teachers in two local schools by bypassing the local government. He told Edukhabar he dispatched the letter to warn the authorities not to impose their decisions on matters relating to the jurisdiction of the local government.  

The District Education Office Sindhupalchowk had initiated process to appoint three teachers in two different schools located at ward number 1 of the Jugal Rural Municipality. Chairman Shrestha said, “The power to appoint teacher rests on local government, so the government’s preparation was an intervention on our authority,” he said. In the letter, he has asked the DEO to immediately scrap and suspend the process.

Of the two schools, it is learnt that the process to appoint two teachers on Singheswari Primary School is ongoing while the process to appoint a teacher in Kyansingh Primary School is put on hold. According to the constitution, local bodies are responsible to oversee schools that provide education upto the secondary level.  

The District Education Office has forwarded the complaint from the rural municipality chairman to Education Department seeking further instruction on the matter. A source said officials are concerned over the issues raised in the letter.

“The top office bearers in district education office and the central offices are worried that their powers are now being exercised by local bodies,” a source said. “The Jugal Rural Municipality has shown its willingness to exercise the power, now we have to see what sort of decisions our bosses will take.”

The letter by the DOE is also copied to the Jugal Rural Municipality. However, Chairman Shrestha says he is unhappy with the continuation of the process of recruitment of teachers.

Local School Inspector Ganesh Puri said the process is not put on hold due to technical complexities.  He says, “The experts’ team appointed by the School Management Committee are conducting the recruitment of teachers in other places too. We have continued this process based on the provisions in education act and regulation,” he said.  He also added that the constitutional provision has not placed district education office under the jurisdiction of the elected local units.

However, Chairman Shrestha disagrees with the claim and argues that all the other legal provisions that are against the spirit of the constitution are now null and void. He urged officials to look into the annex 8 of the constitution which says that the local governments are responsible for all tasks related to management of the primary and secondary education in their respective areas.

The letter sent by Shrestha also notes the executive order issued by the government regarding the roles and responsibilities of the local government in May 31. Annex 3 of the order states that education is one of the 22 responsibilities of the rural municipality.

Shrestha said he is committed to exercise the roles and responsibilities entrusted by the new constitution and work for uplifting the quality of education.

“Now it is our responsibility to offer quality education to our children,” he said. “We better know what type of teachers we need in our school and what should we do to properly manage our schools. We are capable to implement the rights envisaged in the constitution. Nobody should teach us what we can do and what we can’t.”

Shrestha, who hold a master’s degree in economics and population had previously worked in Chautara College and local schools. He defeated the Nepali Congress candidate and was elected as the Chairman of the Jugal Rural Municipality from the CPN-UML in the first round of local elections held in mid May.

(This storyis the part of a radio programme entitled 'Hamro Sikshya' which discusses the opportunities and challenges in public education in the new federal setup. The programme is produced by edukhabar.com with the support of Action Aid Nepal. It is aired from Radio Dhangadhi, Kailali, Radio Doti based in Doti and Radio Taha Sanchar based in Kathmandu. The radio programme can also be tuned through this link:http://www.edukhabar.com/audio/31 and also through aneroid app Edunepal.)

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