KATHMANDU, Oct 6: An additional Rs 35 billion will be needed to fulfill the obligations set forth in the agreement between the government and the Teachers' Federation. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has conducted an assessment indicating that should the government's School Education Bill be amended and passed by the federal parliament in accordance with the agreement, an additional budget of over Rs 35 billion will be needed to accommodate these changes.
Ghanshyam Aryal, under-secretary at the Planning Division of the Ministry of Education, disclosed that currently, there are a total of 153,530 teachers employed across the country, with the Ministry disbursing an annual sum of Rs 94.77 billion to sustain their positions. Under Secretary Aryal explained to Republica, "If the bill currently in parliament is debated and becomes a law, it will place an increased financial burden on the state. The reserve fund and an additional 10 percent allocation will also augment the government's financial obligations. The Ministry is meticulously calculating these expenses as per the bill's provisions."
In accordance with the agreement reached with the teachers, around Rs 16 billion is required to maintain the current teacher positions and manage the reserve fund, covering a total of 42,420 teachers working under the relief quota. At present, there are 101,800 teachers at the primary level (grades 1 to 5). Of these, 80,000 hold approved positions, while the remaining 21,800 work under the relief quota. The current salary of a primary level teacher is Rs 32,902.
Likewise, there are 25,836 teachers at the lower secondary level (grades 6 to 8). Among them, 16,222 have approved positions, while the remaining 9,612 are on the relief quota. For lower secondary level teachers, the salary is Rs 34,730. Similarly, each of the 19,637 secondary level teachers receives a salary of Rs 43,689.
Under Secretary Aryal mentioned that there are 2,000 teachers with approved positions at the higher secondary school level, and an additional 4,000 teachers under the relief quota.
As per the agreement, 27,890 school assistants will retain their approved positions, and 30,488 child development center facilitators are expected to receive salaries and service benefits for their contributions to primary level education. Additionally, the program includes provisions for the management of 7,178 schools and approximately 500 teachers affected by the people's movements.
Hari Prasad Lamsal, joint secretary of the planning and monitoring division at the Ministry of Education, emphasized that as the School Education Bill is still under discussion in parliament, the exact funding requirements have not yet been determined. Lamsal stated, "The Ministry is currently conducting a thorough examination of the available data. The program's full scope will only be finalized once we have a clear understanding of the bill's outcome. The Ministry is diligently working towards fulfilling the commitments made in the agreement with the teachers."