विहीबार, १० जेठ २०८१
English शिक्षामा गत साता

Minister makes news

बुधबार, २८ चैत्र २०८०

Kathmandu - Activities of the Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), land encroachment of Tribhuvan University (TU), School Education Examination (SEE) were the main topics of education related news last week.

There was front page news in Kantipur Daily last week; "Education Catalyst Operation Procedure-2080" was canceled in four days after it was issued to appoint trainees and volunteers studying in higher education to the divisions, branches and subordinate bodies of the MoEST who have access to official document like civil servants. After being criticized that the procedure will invalidate the method of employee selection, raised questions about the confidentiality of government office documents and weaken the bureaucracy and lower the staff morale, the Minister of MoEST, Sumana Shrestha, has revised the procedure and issued the 'Procedure for Interns 2080' to assign students as interns. In Kantipur's editorial on this topic mentions that the governance system will be strengthened only with trust, coordination and cooperation between the political leadership and the bureaucracy.

Minister Shrestha's claims of  the progress of her one-month tenure in the MoEST at the press conference that  'the standard for the transfer of employees of the MoEST; the ministry planned to conduct 'career counseling' for students who have been given SEE in collaboration with the University Grants Commission; publication of school level  data and the formation of a task force to solve the problems seen in higher education, carried  the news. 

It was also mentioned in the news that a high-level committee has been formed to review the scholarship law, different task forces have been formed to formulate guidelines for conducting national examinations, to revise guidelines for the management of foreign-affiliated colleges, and to study the revision of the Teacher Service Commission Regulations.

It is a very positive to study and come to a conclusion before doing the work of improvement. However, the status of such task force's is clear from the fact that the reports submitted by many task forces in the past have not been implemented. It is too quick to doubt the performance of the new Minister in a month, but it is necessary for the minister to pay attention to the pile of reports submitted by  previous task forces. Also, promoting actions such as  the formation of the task force claimed as progress may be popular, but this should not be claimed as an  achievement. When things like the formation of committees are claimed as progress, it appears  that the minister is more interested in propaganda than brining  concrete results in the Ministry. She can but even holding a press conference in a month to claim the progress is somewhat not expected of her.

Himalaya TV has aired the news that Minister Shrestha has removed a video she posted on social media saying that teachers who are members of political parties will be taken action. Minister Shrestha said that until the end of partisanship in schools and universities, there can be no improvement in education, mentioned in the news. 

There was another news that Minister Shrestha has instructed to the Vice-chancellor (VC) of TU to submit an action plan for overall improvement of the university as soon as possible, including systemic reforms, dynamic and quality service delivery, and strict implementation of the academic calendar.

In the proposal she made before becoming the  Minister about Nepal Act Amendment Bill in the Law Committee of the House of Representatives, MoEST Minister Shrestha accepted the amendment to put forward by the MPs saying that the amendments are also in line with her and tried to move it forward. The MPs have blocked the bill saying that if she accepted amendments different from the amendments she made before becoming a minister, it would be considered as a conflict of interest. Shrestha made an amendment to an item related to Kathmandu University (KU). Shrestha's proposal before becoming a minister was to amend the existing Act so that the Chancellor of KU will not be the Prime Minister and does not hold the post of Joint Chancellor in KU.

Kantipur revealed that more than one thousand 125 acre of land taken by paying compensation during the establishment of the university's Kirtipur-Balkhu premises has been encroached  for years. Individuals, various government and non-government organizations have encroached on that land, mentioned the news. Kantipur has also  caried an editorial on this topic. Similarly, there is another news that the 22 acre land of Mahendra Multipurpose Campus (MMC) located in Ghorahi of Dang has been encroached on for one and a half decades in the name of Sukumvasior the Landless. It was mentioned in the news that 35 bighas of land in Deukhuri has been encroached out of about 83 bighas of the TU affiliated MMC.

There was news that the former VCs of TU have asked for the immediate appointment of officials of TU on the basis of merit. It was mentioned in the news that former VCs Mahesh Kumar Upadhyay, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, Kamal Krishna Joshi and Navin Prakash Jung Shah issued a joint statement.

There was news that students come to study in the library even in the evening and at night after the study hall of the University Library is kept open 24 hours a day.

It was mentioned in the news that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said in the 14th meeting of the Midwest University that the attention of the university should be focused on curriculum restructuring, physical and human resource development based on innovation.

There was news that Bridge Courses have been suspended within the Pokhara Metropolitan City.  Similarly, there was news that the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has made a decision that, the public or the private schools cannot pressurize the parents to purchase the textbooks, uniforms and stationery for the academic year 2081 from the school. There was another news that it is mandatory to keep the name of private schools operating in Kathmandu Metropolitan City in Nepali. It is also mentioned that if the name is not changed, the admission will be stopped.

Similarly, it was mentioned in the news that Manhari Rural Municipality (RM) of Makwanpur has decided to give incentives based on performance to encourage teachers to improve the quality of learning in the school. Similarly, two other RM has decided that the children of teachers, employees and public representatives must be educated in public schools. There was news that textbooks have reached most of the schools in Bajura within the March. Another news was that the Bharatpur Metropolitan City has canceled the examination of health, physical and creative arts subjects of class 8 and decided to re-conduct the examination due to an error in the question paper.

It was reported that the General Secretary of Nepali Congress Gagan Kumar Thapa has expressed his opinion in the program organized by the School Management Committee (SMC) Federation that options for the community schools should be kept open to raise financial resources. Similarly, there was another news last week that Surkhet's SMC Federation protested that the Commission for Investigation of Authority Abuse had saddened schools for raising questions on the issue about the fees collected from students.

Aam Janata Party leader and Member of the Parliament Prabhu Sah has pointed out that there is a shortage of buildings and teachers in government schools in Madhesh. He said that there is a situation where up to 200 students have to be kept in one classroom in Madhesh. There is one teacher post for 18 students in Bagmati province, while in Madhesh province there is only one teacher post for 71 students.

There was news that Kathmandu University (KU) has launched a 'Hydrogen Refueling Centre'.

The Ministry of Social Development, Karnali Province has set a target of developing at least 13 schools in 10 districts as model schools, mentioned in a news.

In Mahottari, 30 examinees, four inspectors of examination and one examination assistant have been punished by the examination monitoring team, and five in Rautahat and one in Siraha have been arrested. 

Similarly Hom Raj Acharya wrote in an article in Online Khabar news portal that those who write and edit the textbooks have not even checked the general facts while exposing the weaknesses of the school textbooks.

In an article by Madhu Rai published in Kantipur, it was mentioned that in order to make the country prosperous, the government of all three tiers have not invested enough in education and health, which are considered as the infrastructure of sustainable development, and there has been no change in the curriculum to prepare the human resource that the country needs.

In an article published in Gorkhapatra, Gopal Thakur has argued that the confidentiality of the examination will be violated if the examiners are assembled at one place to examine the answer sheets. Savigya Pandey wrote about the idea that Nepal's educational system and classroom environment kill students' creativity. Similarly, Chinta Mani Rizal wrote that visionary school leadership, proper guidance of the management committee, investment and active participation of parents, unity and determination of teachers are needed for the improvement of community schools.

Dr. Gobind KC wrote an article saying that Geta Medical College should not be  given university status overnight. It was mentioned in the article published in Kantitpur that the physical structure already built in Geta, but there is a phenomenon of misleading the citizens of Far West without running the hospital properly.

The purpose of this news review is to classify and synthesize the educational content of the week and provide objective comments from the point of view of social justice and creative padagogy to the policy makers and stakeholders in one place. In this joint effort of Center for Education Policy and Practice (CEPP) and Edukhbar, the news of daily newspapers Kantipur, Gorkhapatra and The Himalayan Times, online news portals Online Khabar, Setopati and Ratopati and Himalaya TV and Nepal Television from 30 March-5April 2024 are covered - Editor.

Read this analysis in Nepali :  शैक्षिक व्यवस्थापनका विषयमा केन्द्रित साता

Read previous reviews  : Education in Last week