Lack of sincerity by authorities

Kathmandu - This week the media covered issues about continued medical institution fee issues as students reported the administration to have used paid personals to beat up students to force to pay additional fees. VC appointment delay was also covered by media this week. The issue of students safety is school structure and the lack of sincerity by authorities in the assessment of the situation was highlighted again as 42 students got injured as a balcony structure of a school caves in. The issue of the public disobedience of private medical institution and the failure of the government to regulate them was the issue of an opinion article this week.  

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, CTEVT- Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training

-    Issue most covered this week was about the safety in schools as 42 students got injured after school balcony caved in. Articles reported that safety of school students was compromised. Students deserve complete protection in schools. Chair of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal was reported stating that it was a case of utter negligence on the part of school authorities calling the school principal be immediately arrested. Structure of school buildings should meet Comprehensive School Safety guidelines. However, there are schools whose buildings have been constructed flouting engineering design principles. To avoid such disasters such schools should be told to ensure that structure of school buildings comply with engineering principles.

An editorial dedicated to the issue questioned if we learnt any lessons from the earthquake or other accidents in schools? Little consideration for the safety of our children and youth has been of priority in academic institutions. Following the tragic incident at Bidya Kunja, there is a clamor to arrest the principal for criminal negligence. Most of the private schools and colleges do not have a building of their own, and they operate from rented multi-storey residential houses or buildings meant for another purpose. In case of a disaster, there is no way to evacuate the children to a safe haven. But will the government and other stakeholders take the advice seriously and follow up on the matter, rightly questioned the editorial. A letter to editor stated that in rush to increase the education industry, the government issues school and college licenses like drama passes without insisting on infrastructure for learning institutions. Most of the private schools and colleges breach the rules as the government cannot take legal action against them due to strong lobbying from the private school associations stated the writer in the letter.

Figure Wounded student from a caved in school structure that wounded 42 students._KD_Sept 25

-    The present situation of disobedient private medical institutions and the government's failure to act accordingly has proven the loss of public dignity of both the institutions stated an opinion article. Students of  National medical college, Birgunj had protested in the street stating the institution was taking fees against the government's policies. The students had reported that the administration had used paid personals to threaten students refusing to pay additional fees. A letter to the editor stated the government should stop pandering to the private medical colleges. It has already given them a Tihar gift in the form of increased fees. They are not happy with the quantum increase and have issued threats to stop new admissions stated the writer. The government must take their words seriously and should seek an effective permanent diagnosis. 

-    An opinion article by a past technical sub-inspector in the Nepal Police who chose to be a teacher in technical education was also published this week. The government’s decision to open a technical school in every local level to produce competent manpower is indeed praiseworthy stated the writer. Lack of laboratory guidelines and manuals for the instructors for practical work was identified as the reason for lack of sound technical education. The government has invested huge amount of money in opening more and more technical schools, but it has not studied what really is happening in the schools stated the writer. There is no monitoring unit to see how the vocational and technical stream is being run across the country. The focus of most of the schools is on the theory classes because of the tendency to award full marks in the practical exams, especially in the final exams conducted by the National Examination Board the teacher stated.

'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 and Himal Weekly(Nepali) between Oct 23-29, 2019 (Kartik 6-12, 2076) - Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali : जिम्मेवार निकाय र व्यक्तिमै जिम्मेवारीको अभाव

Read last week’s analysis : Debate on Government Decisions about Teachers’ Transfers and Medical education Fees

All analysis read by this link : Education This week