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Sanitizing the education sector

Sanitizing the education sector

Upon completion of 100 days in office, Minister for Education, Science and Technology Sumana Shrestha made some of her ‘achievements’ public on Wednesday. 

At a press conference held to mark the occasion, Minister Shrestha highlighted that 825 teachers had renounced the membership of different political parties as part of efforts initiated to end politicization of the education sector. 

Out of complaints lodged against 45 teachers, clarifications were sought from 41 teachers whereas four were acquitted, she said, vowing to not let the teachers take membership of any political party. 

Asked about the Education Bill, which is crucial for effecting reforms in the education sector, she said, “Many people ask us: ‘When will the Education Bill come?’ I myself don’t have an answer to that question. We are part of the executive. The Bill is under discussion at the relevant committee of the legislature (the parliament)—another organ of the state. We have requested the parliament to enact the Bill soon. A parliamentary committee is tasked with visiting every province and conducting discussions on the Bill. I think the committee is doing that.”

Minister Shrestha said her team was busy formulating procedures and standards governing the appointment of officials in higher education (at the university level), adding that a committee for recommending candidates for CTEVT vice-chair’s position has already taken shape. 

She vowed to appoint higher education officials like Tribhuvan University Service Commission members and vice-chancellors of universities on merit basis rather than on the basis of the spoils system.

Minister Shrestha informed that her ministry had also initiated an investigation into past irregularities in the education sector, based on the findings of investigative reports on such anomalies.

She said arrangements were being made to stick to the annual schedule and bring about improvements in the higher education sector.