KATHMANDU, Nov 9: The constitution of Nepal in its schedule 8 has given the right to the local governments to manage basic and secondary level education. The recently adopted 21-point education policy 2019 has empowered the local level governments by stating that they can appoint teachers on their own.
If everything goes as envisioned in the policies, local units can recruit teachers on their own once the ministry promulgates the Local Education Act. Deepak Sharma, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said that the ministry is preparing to introduce the act before the upcoming local level elections.
“Appointment of teachers by local level governments was formulated as a policy to meet the shortages of teachers in schools,” added Sharma.
Bimal Pokharel, Executive Director of National Association of Rural Municipalities in Nepal (NARMIN) told Republica that the education policy looks good as of now. “However a policy is a mere direction, we can't really comment on the matter until and unless the government implements this," he said.
Pokharel shared that the provinces faced a conflict of power previously when the Education Coordination and Development Unit (EDCU) failed to make an effective coordination. The provinces have been complaining of EDCU's lack of efficiency to coordinate with province and central government when they failed to record and communicate the demand of required teachers at the local level with the provincial government previously.
Pokharel said that the local government managed the chaos when the teachers didn't go to the destined locations as per the need of the local level.
Education experts worry this policy could further worsen education quality giving more room for politicizing the education sector. Education expert Bidya Nath Koirala argued that the step taken by the government would have been more appreciable if they had emphasized on technologies rather than teachers. He added that there is a high probability of misusing this opportunity by party cadres as experienced in the past.
“But what remains expense worthy is technology which could minimize the hindrance of time and space for students of every nook and cranny in Nepal”, said Koirala.