In its effort to improve the quality of education, the government is preparing to hand over the management of a number of community schools to private operators.
The Department of Education (DoE) in coordination with the private sector is formulating a plan to that effect, which will be implemented within a year. A working procedure will be prepared, envisaging the handover of management of at least two community schools to a private school having more than 500 students or with above 80 percent results in the School Leaving Certificate exams. According to authorities, the new move aims at improving academic, financial and managerial activities.
Tek Narayan Pandey, director at the DoE, said that Umesh Shrestha, chairperson of the Higher Secondary Schools’ Association of Nepal and advisor of the Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal (Pabson) have been assigned to prepare a draft of the procedure. “The draft will be finalised after a committee comprising representatives from all stakeholders carries out a study on the matter,” said Pandey. Through the new initiative the government aims at using the managerial and academic expertise of the private sector to enhance the academic condition of community schools.
According to the DoE, around 6,000 private schools across the country will get a chance to run some 8,000 community schools in the first phase. “We are ready to support the government plan but it should not be a mandatory,” said Pabson Chairman Baburam Pokhrel. He said Pabson was ready to conduct a training programme for community school teachers, launch a student exchange programme, help develop infrastructure and offer financial support to the needy schools.
The new initiative will also apply to higher secondary schools after assessing the impact in lower grades. The DoE will hand over the management of community schools to the private sector after evaluating the latter’s feasibility and strength.
Education experts, however, see a slim chance of its implementation as the government is seeking one-sided support from the private sector without providing any facilities. “The government should take the new programme under the Private Public Partnership modality providing some benefits to the private schools such as waiving tax to a certain limit,” said Prof Mana Prasad Wagle, an education expert.
Posted on: 2013-04-15 10:03