KATHMANDU, April 23: The National Campaign for Education (NCE) Nepal has drawn the attention of the government and the bodies concerned towards the 'need' to allocate 20 percent of the total budget to the education sector in the upcoming fiscal year.
The campaign has reminded the political parties about their commitments for increasing budget allocation to the education sector in their recent election manifestos. At present, around 10 percent of the total budget is allotted to the education sector.
NCE Nepal chair Rajendra Pahadi said the existing budget allocation to this sector is not sufficient to implement the fundamental rights relating to education and the related international commitments.
The NCE said that free tuition, availability of school mid-day meal, scholarship, first aid facility and the management of education materials are necessary to implement the Compulsory and Free Education Act 2075 (2018) but the existing size of the education budget is not sufficient to ensure all these provisions.
The campaign recently submitted a memorandum towards this end to Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Ashok Kumar Rai, and National Planning Commission member Dr Ram Kumar Phuyal.
According to NCE Nepal general secretary Sudarshan Sigdel, the Finance Minister in response said the budget for the upcoming fiscal year would come within a framework determined by the available resources while the education sector is in the government’s priority list despite an economically sensitive atmosphere in the nation.
The education minister said the investment in education was for a long-run impact, but the expected investment has not been possible due to various reasons.