12 March 2019, Kathmandu
Speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said the existence of the private schools was not immediately endangered as the constitution has accepted the three-pillar economic policy envisioning a socialism-oriented nation.
Inaugurating the 14th national convention of Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization of Nepal (PABSON) here on Tuesday, Speaker Mahara said all sides should cooperate in the process of regulating the private schools and raising the quality of the community schools.
“Education and health should be made the state’s responsibility but it is not possible to phase out the private schools so soon. At present, the state should move towards prosperity by encouraging the private sector as well,” he said, adding that it takes time to reach the stage of socialism and what to do with the private sector operated schools would be better thought of at that time.
The Speaker said that he has urged the government also to bring the Federal Education Act only after consulting with the stakeholders. “The private school operators should not worry as adequate discussions would be held on the bill in parliament,” he said.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokhrel said that education should be seen as service sector and the standard of the community schools should be lifted up.
“Do not worry. There is no crisis now. The government is committed to protecting your investment and property. Education is not like other businesses. The government is preparing to bring new education policy laws. I have the belief that you will come to dialogue and collaboration,” the Education Minister said to the private school owners.
He said although the role and responsibility of the private sector has been accepted in the Compulsory and Free Education Act given the context in which the state has not been able to invest adequately in the education sector, the private sector should cooperate with the government as it is moving towards the process of building a prosperous Nepal based on justice through the implementation of the constitution.
He stressed that science and technology should be adopted as the productive power and the education sector as the infrastructure of infrastructure development to raise the people’s living standard. The Minister also suggested the private sector to also invest in the higher education to bridge the gap seen between the private and public education.
Nepali Congress leader Chandra Bhandari said the private schools should not be minimized but only regulated. He cautioned that the ‘Mafiosi’ who wanted to benefit by taking the Nepali students abroad for education might conspire to close down the private schools. Bhandari said Nepalis identity might be lost if the students were not imparted education on oriental philosophy and Sanskrit education.
PABSON president Bijaya Sambahamphe warned that they would be compelled to wage an agitation movement if the government tried to decimate the private schools.
On the occasion, the Pabson Prestige Award was conferred on PABSON’s former president Umesh Shrestha and the Harihar Shastri Prize was presented to assistant lecturer Devi Prasad Ghimire.
The PABSON Education Journalism Award was presented to Prakriti Adhikari and Ishwar Raj Dhakal.
Similarly, 14 various PABSON branches were also awarded on the occasion.
A total 2,438 delegates from 72 districts are participating in the convention which will elect a new leadership of PABSON for the next term. The panels led by Tikaram Puri and DK Dhungana are in the election fray for new leadership. The election would be held on Wednesday.