Monitoring of public schools mired in formalities

Published On: August 22, 2016 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 21: The government's efforts to uplift the quality of education at public schools through monitoring remain hamstrung by needless formalities.

According to the Ministry of Education (MoE), there are 29,630 public schools across the nation. The government spends around Rs 100 billion annually on the education sector. There are a total of 35,223 schools including private ones in the country. 

Private schools, which constitute only twenty per cent of the total schools in Nepal, account for 80 per cent of the good results in the SLC, while public schools see only 20 per cent of their students through, according to the sources.

It is a critical situation that the dozens of public schools in the country are compelled to merge due to low number of students and increasing attraction to the private schools, said the officials at the Department of Education. 

At a time when quality of education is deteriorating in the community schools, the government has done nothing more than carrying out monitoring just for formality, said Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians' Association Nepal. “The schools monitor themselves and they are limited in formality. We cannot expect more from such mechanism,” he added. “The teachers also are not accountable to their profession. Reward and punishment system must be enforced in schools.”

The school management committees, the District Education Offices, the Department of Education and the Ministry of Education (DoE) are the concerned authorities to scrutinize the school activities and help promote the quality of education in the community schools.

The schools are monitored by the district education offices by deploying school inspectors. However, the MoE and DoE have not sincerely worked to uplift the quality of education in government schools, which are provided with teaching staff and other resources.

“Though there is a monitoring mechanism for schools, the present monitoring system has not given expected results,” said Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman for the MoE. “We need to do something vital to bring changes in the sector,” he added. 

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