Govt schools sans school management committee

Published On: August 10, 2016 01:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: The government schools across the nation are running without the school management committee for the last two months.

There are 34,806 public schools with some six million students across the country. After the implementation of new Education Act two months ago that dissolved the school management committees, the schools have been running without the management committees due to delay in formation of the new committees, according to sources.

Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians Association of Nepal, said that the absence of school management committees has created a vacuum.  “This has affected in payment of teachers, policy-making, taking decisions, planning as well as construction of the schools,” he said.

The Education Act has revised the formation method of the school management committee. The bill on the eighth amendment to the Education Act 1972 was endorsed by the parliament some two months ago. The Act has new provisions in selecting the chairperson of the school management committee.

As per the new provisions, the four persons -  two males and two females - are to be elected in the committee from among the guardians, patrons and funding organizations, even if their wards do not study in the respective school. One of the four is selected as the chairperson of the school management committee. As in the previous committee, there will be nine members in the school management committee including ward chairman, an officer from the district education office and a person from intellectual or civil society. However, there must be at least three female members in the committee, according to the new rule.

“As per the new education act, we have already directed the districts and schools through the the country to form school management committees in the public schools,” said Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman at the Ministry of Education (MoE). “The process has already begun for forming the committees,” he added.

However, the ministry is unaware of the formation of management committees in the schools. “We don't have details of the formation of school management committees. We believe the schools are in the process of forming the committees,” Lamsal claimed.

According to the old provision, the chairperson of the school management committee must have passed at least SLC to become chairperson of a school. However, the new law has not mentioned any academic qualification for the chair of the school management committee.

In some of the Tarai districts, unfair practices were found to be rampant while selecting the chair of the school management committee. The prospective candidates of the school management committee in the Tarai districts used to spend money and even hold election in a way the local body elections were held. The candidates from different political parties used to campaign and fight election to grab the post assuming it to be lucrative.

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