The Sorry State of Universities

Kathmandu - This week higher number of the articles where dedicated to higher education, mostly with negative news. There were multiple articles on the aspiration with Pashupati Hindu Univeristy. Many news and opinion articles were dedicated to the uncertainties rolling on the shut offices of Kathmandu University. A letter to editor boldly discussed of the sorry state of universities in general.  A news from Sudurpaschim reported the call of the Chief minister that the government employees should enroll their children in public schools. 
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, KMC- Kathmandu Metropolitan City, SMC- School Management Committee, VC- Vice Chancellor

- Opinion articles, news piece and letters to editor discussed about the openly discussed sharing of university positions among leading political parties. These articles expressed the degradation of higher education in the hands of political intervention and the new policies that has compromised autonomy of universities thus deviating higher education from its goals of excellence in academic field.

- A news article stated of the efforts of Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives to reform Scholarship Act 021 and University Acts to offer scholarship only to students who have studied in public schools from class 6 to 10. This can ensure more students and parents to prefer public schools while strategic effort to expand yours of enrollment in public school can filter students who enroll public schools in last two years of schooling to be eligible for scholarship.

- Multiple opinion articles and letters to editor about the scope of Pashupati Hindu University made it in the media this week. The writers appreciated the scope while expressed concerns of the threat of politicization of the effort. The writes called in to ensure any future university to be more autonomous and independent to prevent it from being a playground for political games. 

- Government employees were asked to enroll their children in public schools this week. Sudurpaschim Province Chief Minister was quoted stating government employees should get their children enrolled at government schools. He said this while speaking at the foundation-laying programme of School being constructed by Sudurpaschim Provincial government. The chief minister expressed his displeasure saying employees, who were drawing their salary from the state treasury were admitting their children at private schools. He said data of government employees throughout Sudurpaschim Province, who have enrolled their children at private schools was being collected.

- Part-time teachers working at Prithivi Narayan Campus for the past 14 years warned today of resigning in masses. Organising a press meet, Part-time Professors’ Union, Prithivi Narayan Campus Chair accused the campus management of paying them minimum salary and benefit for the past 14 years. Out of 549 faculty members, as many as 218 have been working as part-timers. The faculty members have been agitating for the past oneanda-half months. 

- A student was injured when a teacher thrashed him at SwastikPathshala School inMirchaiya Municipality, Siraha. Sixth grader student aged 13, was injured after Nepali teacher thrashed him for not completing his assignment. Yadav’s left hand got fractured due to the beating. An all-party meeting was held at Area Police office, Mirchaiya, to settle the issue. Guardian, Mayor, DSP and locals were present at the meeting. Teacher had punished Ritik for his failure to complete the assignment. Family members sought stern action against the teacher. The school management has pledged not to repeat the mistake in future and to improve its teaching method.

The news of physical punishments have been receiving higher priority in media and as in the news high profile personals have been involved in mitigation procedures of any high profile case of physical punishment in schools. It indicates that the issue is being taken seriously. 

'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) betweenJan 22-28, 2020(Magh8-14, 2076)- Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali :  आंशिक शिक्षकद्वारा राजिनामाको चेतावनी

Read last week’s analysis : Submits structural transformation of Higher education

All analysis read by this link : Education This week