Extra Rs 27b a year needed to implement education regulations: Minister Paudel

Published On: December 14, 2016 07:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 14:  Education Minister Dhani Ram Paudel has said that the government will need an additional Rs 27 billion per year to implement the new education regulations, which are awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance.

In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs 104 billion for the education sector. 

Speaking at a function organized by the Education Journalists' Network (EJON) on Tuesday, Minister Paudel said that the final draft of the education regulations was recently submitted to the Ministry of Finance. 

"We are hopeful the finance ministry will decide on it soon," he added.

However, the stakeholders of the private sector in education have demanded that the government address their several concerns in the regulations. 

Representatives of the private schools and higher secondary schools have warned that they will shut down the schools and turn over the keys of their schools to the government if their demands are not included in the regulations. 

"We know our next steps if the government does not address our demands," warned Ramesh Silwal, president of the Higher Secondary Schools Association Nepal.

The private education sector has objected to 24 various points in the regulations. "Our main concern is to amend four provisions," said Karna Bahadur Shahi, president of the Private and Boarding Schools' Association Nepal. "These points are -- security and return on our investment, nomination of representatives from private sector in government formed commissions, permission to operate 0+2, and not fixing salaries of teachers as per the government scale," he added.

The draft of the Education Regulation has different provisions including Grades 0-8 as basic/elementary education, Grades 9-12 as secondary education, private schools to pay government scale salary to teachers, and free secondary education among other things.

Minister Paudel meanwhile said that the government is not afraid of the warnings of the private school operators. "We cannot include the demands of vested interest groups," he said. 

Ranju Kumari Jha, chairperson of the Women, Children and Social Welfare Committee of the parliament, urged Minister Paudel to implement the regulations within two weeks.

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