SC orders schools to form committees as per new law

Published On: September 13, 2016 12:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered schools to form the school management committee as per the newly-amended law.

The bill on eighth amendment to the Education Act 1972 was endorsed by the parliament about four months ago. The Act has provisioned new rules in selecting the chairperson of the school management committee.

The SC on Sunday gave the verdict against a writ petition seeking to follow the old rules to form the school management committee instead of the new provision, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The government has revised the criteria for forming the school management committees, which is believed to improve the management of schools in the country, said the officials at the MoE.

As per the new rules, the committee should have four persons - two males and two females - elected from among the school guardians, patrons and funding organizations, even if their wards do not study in the respective school. Among the four, one is selected by these four persons as the chairperson of the school management committee. As in the previous committee, there will be nine-member school management committee including ward chairman, an officer from district education office and a person from intellectual or civil society. However, there must be at least three female members in the committee, according to the new rules.

According to the old provision, the chairperson of the school management committee must have passed at least SLC. However, the new rules have not mentioned any academic qualification to chair the school management committee. 

The new measures were taken as unfair practices were rampant while selecting the chair of the school management committee in some Tarai districts. The prospective candidates of the school management committee in the Tarai districts used to spend money and even hold election in a way the local body elections are held. Candidates from different political parties used fight for the election to grab the post assuming it to be lucrative.

There are more than 29,000 public schools with some six million students across the country. The Department of Education (DoE) directed the schools to form new school management committees following the approval of the new law by the parliament. However, the school management committees in many of the schools are yet to be formed, according to the DoE.

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