Government prepare to adjust extra medical tuition fee, while Dr.KC warns of hunger strike


Kathmandu - The week post Dashain was marked by swift turn by the government from warning to take action against the private medical institutions not returning fees to adjusting the extra fees while Dr. KC a committed medical education reform activist warned to start 17th hunger strike demanding merit based appointment of university officials, and to file fraud cases to private medical colleges that have taken exorbitant fees. He recently retired on the ground of age limit. Most of the news and opinion articles on education this week were focused on these matters. An editorial was dedicated on the issue of selection of the university officials and its procedure. A news article stated lack of substantial progress in mother tongue based education. It was reported that a SAARC level education minister’s meet has been confirmed to happen in Nepal soon. Teachers will have to give extra subject based exam to be a permanent teacher while teacher’s evaluation will now be done by local level education departments as new regulations on the matter got approved this week. Another news stated thatmost public schools have ample additional arable land resource in Jhapa, butare facing problem to manage sufficient resources for merely running schools, due to lack of management, and corruption.
 
Abbreviations: MoEST- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, TU- Tribhuwan University, IOM- Institute of Medicine, TUSC-TU Service Commission, KD-Kantipur Daily, THT-  The Himalayan Times, PM- Prime Minister

- The government has started efforts to adjust the additional fees raised from the students in medical colleges after the colleges claim lack of ability to return the fees back to the students. It was reported that MoESThas started discussions to resolve the issue of extra fees taken from students by medical colleges. As the Medical Education Commission has already been formed it is working on data collection on the amount and the number of students from whom extra money has been taken informed the secretary of MoEST in the news report. Students of Chitwan Medical College had staged protest after they were told that those who hadn’t paid extra dues would not be allowed to sit for examinations.  A inter-ministry meeting had decided to take action against medical colleges if they failed to return extra charges taken from students within a month. The meeting had also decided to file a fraud case against medical colleges under the Medical Education Act. An editorial published in KD stated the threat of legalizing the illegally raised fees from students by private medical institutions. The editorial states that students doubt that the reason for the failure of the government to take action against corruption by medical institution because of the involvement of government and political personals in the corruption.An opinion clearly mentions the interest of the ruling party on making profits out of the dismantled public medical institutions and teaching hospitals run by the government. The opinion article also discussed about the publicly given treat to remove the education minister from position by private medical institutions.

- A news this week stated the lack of substantial progress in mother tongue based education due to lack of clarity among government officials and political will to invest in the matter. It informed that the education ministry has till date published text books in subject of choice in 26 different languages for primary level classes. Teachers with knowledge of the local language had taken initiatives to teach students in languages of the majority in the locality. But, the government still has no information on how many schools teach children in mothertongues even after two decades since the initiative started. In lack of support and assistance to facilitate teaching in mother tongue, schools and teachers who had initiated to teach have failed to continue realizing the additional hassle and burden without support. Therefore, schools have switched to English medium as their choice of language under parent’s pressure. The Curriculum Development Center informed selective subjects now have text books in mother tongue in different languages from class 1 to 5, but publishing each subject in mother tongue would not be possible for the center. In lack of information on schools running classes in mother tongue, assessment of these efforts to support further policy intervention is a lost opportunity. Mother tongue text books has ended up being a tool to impress the donors but lack sincere approach in the matter stated one of the experts in multilingual education. The government has also failed to communicate sufficiently with the public the need and intent of mother tongue as language of instruction in primary classes.

- Education departments of local levels now officially have the authority to evaluate the performance of the teachers after the approval of the purposed regulation.From now onwards teachers will have to give additional subject based exam after regular teacher's exam to become a permanent teacher. The applicant will be allowed to sit for a 25 mark viva only after they get through two paper based exams. 

- An opinion dedicated to the selection procedure of university officials stated it is common knowledge that the heavy politicization of the appointment process of university officials has severely eroded the quality of education in Nepal’s public institutions of higher learning. The editorial stated that university posts have been awarded in the past to undeserving candidates based solely on their political leaning rather than academic excellence and administrative skills. Since the posts were filled based on the bhagbandha principle, good candidates with a proven track record of teaching and research excellence, and governance experience were simply bypassed.To regain its lost glory, the university needs someone with a vision who can bring about the desired changes without being a tool of the government or the party in power emphasized the editorial. The editorial appealed the PM to give full authority and freedom to build an effective administrative team to attract top-quality faculty and students to stimulate creativity, research and learning.

'Education this Week' is a joint effort put to analyze the press coverage of education in Nepal’s selected print media published in Kathmandu. The main aim of this effort is to identify and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground of the news.This, we believe, will help policy makers and other responsible people to keep abreast with ongoing concerns and discussions on and around education. EduKhabar, in collaboration with the Center for Educational Policies and Practices (CEPP) , has produced this analysis based on the news printed in Kantipur (Nepali) and The Himalayan Times (English), Dailies andHimal Weekly (Nepali) betweenOct 9-15, 2019 (Asoj 22-28, 2076) - Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali : शिक्षकको कार्यसम्पादन मूल्याङ्कन गर्ने अधिकार स्थानीय तहमा

Read last week’s analysis : Relevance of Dashain Vacation Assignments for Students

All analysis read by this link : Education This week