The President Education Reform Program (Rastrapati Shaikshik Sudhar Kaaryakram) launched by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) two years ago was ineffective, according to stakeholders, because the program failed to meet the actual needs of schools due to a lack of funding to build the necessary infrastructure.
Despite the fact that the program was created to change public education across the country, stakeholders have pointed out that it requires revision in some areas.
In fiscal year 2077/78 BS, the MoEST has chosen 4,250 schools. The program allocates funds for the development of school buildings, ICT laboratories, libraries, school repairs, and other projects.
Experts and teachers blamed the program’s ineffectiveness on a lack of consistent financial assistance.
In many schools, the program appears to have been implemented solely to garner votes for political leaders. As a result, school headmasters claim that the budget allotted for certain topics is insufficient to complete the work.
“They allocated Rs. 600,000 for an ICT laboratory, but it was only enough to equip a single classroom,” Kajiman Ekten, headmaster of Khandrung Secondary School in Deumai-7, Ilam, stated.
Furthermore, several schools rejected the budget because they were given the package for work that was not required.
Prabhat Secondary School, Gwarko, Lalitpur, had applied for the program to repair the school and purchase resources for the ICT lab, but the budget was instead awarded to building construction.
The school’s headmaster, Rajendra Timilsina, stated that they did not accept the budget since there is no space at the school for building construction. According to Timilsina, some other schools had similar problems because the ministry allocated funds under a different title than what they had requested.
According to Gita Ghimire, director of the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD), some of the country’s 4,250 schools refused to accept the funding since it was for a program that did not meet their needs.
She also stated that many schools were unable to implement the program because they opened after mid-June and had only one month to complete the assignment by mid-July. She stated that the CEHRD is now gathering information on schools that have refused to participate in the initiative.
Ghimire went on to say that, despite some errors, the program in most schools allocated funds for the desired job.
Ghimire, on the other hand, disagreed that the budget was inadequate, claiming that the fixed budget was sufficient to complete the assignment.
However, Heramba Kandel, the headmaster of Vishwo Niketan Secondary School in Tripureshwor, proposed allocating funds for an integrated program rather than spreading it out.
The shortlisted schools have received financing ranging from Rs. 650,000 to Rs. 10 million. Construction of school buildings with a minimum of two rooms and a maximum of four rooms will be funded with a grant of Rs. 1.8 million per two rooms.
Aside from classrooms, the building could be used for early childhood development centers, science laboratories, information technology (IT) laboratories, or libraries. Schools who submit toilet proposals will receive a subsidy of Rs. 700,000 per school.
Similarly, for schools that require drinking water, Rs. 700,000 has been allocated per school.
Rs. 50,000 per computer has been given under the strategy for infrastructural improvement to expand the use of ICT in education. Similarly, schools receive a Rs. 650,000 stipend for laboratory equipment.
The government has allocated up Rs. 5.6 billion from the total budget for various programs in fiscal year 2077/78 BS to complete the scheme within the current academic session. This year, the government has set aside around Rs. 8 billion for the program.
Even yet, it’s likely to be delayed, as the ministry has yet to issue a call for applications from schools for the program. If the ministry does not begin the procedure soon, many institutions will be unable to adopt the program owing to a lack of time.