Donors concerned about education in new local set-upAs the country adopts powerful local bodies after their restructuring, the donor communities have enquired with the government as to how the education sector would function in the new local set-up.
As the country adopts powerful local bodies after their restructuring, the donor communities have enquired with the government as to how the education sector would function in the new local set-up.
During the four-day Budget Review Meeting of the School Sector Development Plan (SSDP), various donor agencies raised concerns about education under the new set-up as the constitution has authorised the local government to manage education up to the secondary level.
Representatives of more than a dozen donor agencies and countries had attended the meeting that concluded on Friday. The 744 municipal and village councils can design their own curriculum and evaluation system along with overall management of the teachers.
“The meeting particularly noted the uncertainty around the implications on the education sector of the roll-out of the federal structure in the country,” the European Union in Nepal said in a statement on Monday.
In response, Minister for Education Dhaniram Poudel said that a technical committee was formed to direct the federal restructuring process in the education sector and to minimise any gap in capacity at the local level.
The resource gap for the reconstruction of the school buildings was another major concern of the donors. “The Budget Review Meeting is also a time to reassess the state of recovery in the school sector. As we raised last November in the Joint Review Meeting, a decline in the initial commitment for recovery of the sector will likely result in recovery taking decades and disparities increasing within this period,” EU Ambassador to Nepal Rensje Teerink said in the statement.
The SSDP aims to end the lack of unavailability of subject teachers, a reduction in the number of out of school children in the districts with the highest disparities in terms of education outcomes.
The seven-year multi-billion programme also involves a phased roll out of the national programme to strengthen early grade reading skills, a scholarship scheme for science study in secondary schools that benefits poor students, particularly girls, as well as effective measures to strengthen fiduciary management.
The programme is estimated to cost Rs1.2 trillion—more than the total budget for the fiscal year 2016-17—of which the donor agencies are expected to contribute around 20 percent.
Meanwhile, finalising the restructuring of the school education in the new set-up, the Ministry of Education has come up with separate plans at different levels of the local units.
The plan has envisaged separate education departments in all the local units. The department under the metropolitan cities will be led by joint secretaries, while under-secretaries will head in sub-metropolitan cities and municipal councils, and gazetted third class officers will be the charge of education in village councils.