Published On: January 31, 2023 04:10 PM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
KATHMANDU, Jan 31: The government's intentions have been doubted after it tabled the Nepal University Bill in parliament, keeping the Education Bill pending.
The government had postponed the Education Bill which had reached the Council of Ministers a month ago and submitted the Nepal University Bill to parliament. This bill, which has been tabled in the National Assembly, is currently being discussed in the legislative committee.
Parliamentarians have expressed the doubt that the government is rushing to pave the way for opening another university as the government should bring the necessary umbrella law and policy for the restructuring of the education sector according to the federal structure. Instead of maintaining the educational quality of the existing universities and making them systematic, even the MPs of the ruling party have not taken it positively that the central government has granted permission to the university against the federal spirit.
Khimlal Devkota, coordinator of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Federalism Implementation Study and Monitoring commented that the government brought the bill with the intention of passing it without fail. He said that going to federalism meant restructuring the entire structure of the state, so education should also be restructured accordingly.
"The government secretly brings a bill, secretly submits it to parliament, reprimands some MPs, this is our party's opinion on the bill," he said, “I have the feeling that there is a practice of telling some to keep quiet, sending them to the committee and passing them.”
He opined that new structures should be allowed on the basis of needs by creating an umbrella law and policy related to education according to the federal structure. He argued that only after analyzing the current state of the university, a decision should be made based on its results.
Chairperson of the Delegated Legislation and Government Assurance Committee, Maya Prasad Sharma, said that while the Education Act of 2028 BS is going on, the main priority should be given to formulating the Education Act. In a conversation with News Agency Nepal, he emphasized the need to make the existing universities effective.
We are running according to the Education Act of 2028 BS. Some of the points are from the year 2013 BS," he said, "Since then, the state structure has also changed a lot. There should be more emphasis on formulating the Education Act.”
Chairperson Sharma, who is also the head of the Education and Human Resource Department of the CPN (Maoist Center), argued that according to the federal structure, the right to run universities as per the need should be given to the provinces.
Chairman of the Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee, Prakash Pantha, said that contrary to the consensus reached earlier, the government has introduced a bill related to a university. He took the tabling of the university bill as a surprise, mentioning that when the education related bill was discussed earlier, it was agreed to bring an umbrella law related to education and not to bring any education related bill before that.
According to the federal structure, after introducing a bill to allow the opening of universities without introducing the Education Act, the parliamentarians of the ruling party criticized it. The parliamentarians have also expressed doubts about the term "non-governmental" and "public" mentioned in the preamble of the bill. They argued that the responsibility of education and health should be taken by the government. The bill is currently under discussion in the legislative committee of the National Assembly.
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