Mathema, Wagle resign from education panelEducation experts Kedar Bhakta Mathema and Mana Prasad Wagle have resigned as members of the High Level Education Commission (HLEC), expressing serious reservations about Tuesday’s amendment to the Education Act. They have said in their resignation that they cannot work in the commission “in the changed context”.
Education experts Kedar Bhakta Mathema and Mana Prasad Wagle have resigned as members of the High Level Education Commission (HLEC), expressing serious reservations about Tuesday’s amendment to the Education Act. They have said in their resignation that they cannot work in the commission “in the changed context”.
The HLEC led by Minister for Education Gopalman Shrestha, who tabled the Education Act (Ninth Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, was formed on September 5 to formulate a new education policy for federal Nepal in the changed political context.
Mathema, former vice chancellor of the Tribhuvan University, and Wagle, former dean of the Faculty of Education (Kathmandu University), submitted their resignation to Minister for Education Shrestha through Education Secretary Hari Lamsal, who is also the member secretary of the HLEC.
Tuesday’s amendment to the Education Act has met with widespread criticism, with various experts describing it as a move that would be detrimental to the country’s public education sector.
The bill was passed on Tuesday night despite serious reservations from lawmakers, including those from the ruling parties.
The amendment has paved the way for giving permanent posting to a majority of temporary teachers without facing competitive tests. The amendment will mean the public education sector will be deprived of fresh teachers, which could affect the education of hundreds of thousands of students of public schools.
“The amendment will hamper public school education for the next 25 years,” reads the resignation submitted by Wagle. Terming the ninth amendment “an attack on the future of 82 percent school students who are mainly from the marginalised and deprived communities, Wagle has said in his resignation: “This also kills the aspirations of around 700,000 individuals who have obtained teaching license.”
The ninth amendment has cleared the decks for announcing internal vacancies for temporary teachers who were drafted in before August 6, 2004. These temporary teachers now will be eligible to get the permanent status if they secure just 40 marks, the minimum pass marks. Similarly, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will open vacancy allocating 75 percent reservation for the temporary teachers recruited between August 6, 2004 and July 29, 2016. The rest will be hired through open competition.
With the endorsement of the Act the temporary teachers will get the state benefits even if they fail the test.