Amendment of Education Act: A betrayal to capable candidates

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Capable educational manpower, unemployed despite having the certificates of higher degree, is aspiring to enter the teaching profession these days. But, the parliament just approved the ninth amendment of the Education Act in spite of suggestions and large pressure against the amendment. It has confirmed that 75% of the teachers' recruitment will be fulfilled from internal competition among the temporary teachers.  It has made the future of would be teachers uncertain and looks set to further worsen the quality of education. It is a betrayal to the capable candidates who are prepared for examinations.

Our political parties never come to consensus purely for the benefit of public. But, the extremist communists and the democratic socialists wholeheartedly came together to approve the amendment draft because it pays them back.

Reservation system has pros and cons on its own. Let all those cons be forgotten this time. The concept of this system is that it is to be reviewed after a certain span of time. It is believed that after practicing this system for some years, it has to have brought some positive changes. It is purely for the marginal groups who have not been at the mainstream of development.

Exceptionally, in Nepal, this system has become the cash cow for some limited persons who are tagged as marginal ones but are at the center for years. It has been more than a decade since we have practiced the reservation system. Actually, no observation has been made on how fruitful it has been so far. Regrettably, the voices are raised in favor of boosting it and granting more reserved percentages to the limited ones.

The temporary teachers have been given an unfair advantage on the ground of reservation system. The reserved percentage for them in the vacancies, which was 51% as per the previous amendment, has been furthered and fixed at 75%. Since those temporary teachers are the groupies, who have been carrying the bags of main political parties of Nepal, the parties agreed and came to the agreement to give them warm shelter pushing the future of million capable candidates toward uncertainty.

The voice was raised countrywide even against the eighth amendment which had confirmed 51% for internal competition. But, taking no notice of that, it was further increased. Two educationalists Man Prasad Wagle and Kedar Bhakta Mathema have already expressed their objection toward this Ninth Amendment of Education Act but it doesn't seem to make any difference to the parties.

Not all, but many of the temporary teachers who have been wishing to become permanent, no doubt, appointed on the basis of their political ideologies. They couldn't succeed in the examinations despite repeated attempts. They carried the bags of those parties during their teaching career. The standard of government schools is not satisfactory. Who are responsible for this? Are the teachers blameless for this bitter reality?

The approval of the ninth amendment has raised several questions. Firstly, it has darkened the future of thousands of capable graduates who are preparing for the examinations of Teacher Service Commission and aspiring to enter the teaching field. Secondly, it has further deteriorated the educational standard of government schools. The problem of unemployment is getting compounded. The youths are getting frustrated as a result.  And after all, overall development of the country is getting pushed back. The only beneficiaries are the political parties who have rescued their followers, revived their vote-banks and ensured the instability to play with the sentiments of people. It has again been proved that our political leaders and parties have no orientation toward people-friendly determination, well-managed system, farsighted vision and a prosperous country.

There is an age bar for getting appointed in the government jobs on the principle that the expertise and enthusiasm gradually fades away along with growing age. It directly hampers in instructional process. Obviously, aged teachers have less efficiency in comparison to the youths. Today's schools need the proficient, energetic and fresh teachers.

There is a wide gap created between the educational quality of private and public schools. It is a challenge for the public schools to compete with the private. If the current educational policies were continued, nothing can be expected. Educationist Wagle states that 82% of the total admitted children are in the public schools. Such children are basically dalits and from economically backward and marginalized classes who do not have access to private schools because of several reasons. Then, is it not the responsibility of the government to provide qualitative education to its subjects? Who is accountable for the worsening educational system of the country?

It is about time to bring about positive changes in the policies and system, and turn the dream of prosperous and developed country into reality. The nation should not be compelled to carry the unnecessary financial burden of pension to the current temporary teachers who are being labeled as permanent through an unfair and risky procedure.

Yes, temporary teachers should be respected. They have contributed. For this, they can be provided the supplement to the extent that the country wouldn't suffer a lot. Setting no age boundary to them can be compromised. Provision of maximum 25 percentage of reserved quota for the internal competition for a time can be negotiated. They have already been given a chance to choose either golden handshake or competing in internal examination. These ways are agreeable to some extent. But, this amendment is problematic and destructive.

Present Education Act is completely unfavorable to the education field and to the overall progress of the country. The lawmakers should rise above their ideologies and political motives and think seriously. They should not only think about pleasing their followers. They are the people's representatives who have to formulate legislations for the benefit of country and countrymen, and not their cadres and coterie. It is unfair. The Act has to be reviewed and suitable measures should be carried out for permanent management of the temporary teachers.    

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