Government allocates 10.68% of educational budget for new fiscal year


Kathmandu, 30 May: The Nepal government has unveiled the national budget of Rs.1.53 trillion for the fiscal year-2076/77, in which Rs. 163.76 billion has been allocated for the education sector, which is an increment of 17 percent of budget in the educational sector compared to the budget of the current fiscal year (2075/76), which is Rs. 134.50 billion. Finance Minister, Yubraj Khatiwada presented the budget amid the members of parliament and said that Nepal has aimed to achieve the status of a middle-income country by 2030. The government has allocated Rs 163.76 billion (10.68% of total budget) in education sector for the fiscal year 2076-77, which was announced at a ceremony at the federal parliament on 28 May 2019. This year’s educational budget showcases an increment of Rs 29 million (0.48%) in comparison to the budget of the fiscal year 2075/76. The budget allocated for the incoming fiscal year indicates that the government doesn’t seem serious to ensure free school education to each child although it has been mentioned in the Constituion-2072, rendering an alarming signal of debacle of the government’s ambitious plan of free education to the children of the nation. The increment of the educational budget aims at placing the volunteer teachers at public schools. A budget of Rs.1.05 billion has been allocated for the recruitment of volunteer teachers in the community schools where teacher quotas are scarce; and a dire need of Science, Mathematics and English teachers is looming over most community schools across the country. The government is hoping to place those volunteer teachers to replenish the gaps of teacher scarcity for a temporary period. Similarly, the government has decided to recruit a sports teacher in each community school across the nation; therefore, about five billion rupees has been allocated for this program. In addition, it is mentioned that a free-education will be made compulsory up to secondary level. It was also announced that the government will have designated 70 districts with the status of fully literate districts within this fiscal year. In addition, National Education Fund will be established for the improvement of public schools. Minister Khatiwada further said the government will celebrate a decade of Public School Improvement in the next ten years. Regarding the infrastructural development in the public schools, the government has allocated a considerable budget for constructing ultra-modern buildings for 300 public schools across Nepal along with an ambitious plan to run school hostels in rural areas. “We are planning to pledge a wealth of scholarship schemes to underprivileged students from school level to university level through an integrated system”, he revealed. As much as three billion rupees has been allocated for the scholarships, prioritizing economically backward and handicapped students. In order to attract youths to business who have higher education qualification, the government will provide an educational loan up to Rs. 700000.00 with a five percent of interest rate by submitting the academic certificates as a collateral property. Similarly, Rs. 4.7 million has been allocated to consolidate the schools with a low number of enrollees. The government has prioritized technical education with the slogan, “Let’s recognize our own soil; let’s make our own country”. So, the government aims to make technical education accessible to the students of 221 local levels before the end of fiscal year 2076/77. With regard to the promotion of child education, the government has also allocated Rs. two billion for the publication of colorful textbooks for primary level students. In order to ensure an easy approach of children of economically wrenched families to basic education, as much as Rs. 5.95 billion has been allocated for providing free day meals to 22 million students, and Rs. five billion will be spent on sanitary pads for girl students of public schools in Nepal under President Education Reformation Fund. Furthermore, the government has also cuddled another ambitious plan of providing technical and vocational training to 83000 youths across the country. A provincial technical institution will be established in each province. The finance minister Khatiwada said that umbrella act of universities will be brought into effect for educational breakthroughs in higher education sector. Moreover, Rs.17.64 billion has been allocated for UGC. The government also aims to establish the constituent campuses of technical education in every district. One health center will be established in every ward within two years in collaboration and partnership with local level governments. For this purpose, Rs. 4 billion budget has been allocated, which will be used for constructing infrastructures for such institutions. In conclusion, the national education budget, which had reached 17.1% of the total national budget in 2011/12, plummeted to 10% in the following year. This could be true the government has allocated only 10% of the total budget for educational programs since last four years. In fact, this budget is not enough for teacher development program, student support system, extracurricular activities and student-friendly infrastructural development. Surprisingly, more than 80% of the total education budget is spent on teachers and staff salaries, and the rest is spent on infrastructural and administrative expenses. So, as a whole, only 3% of total education budget is spent on quality improvement programs, which is appallingly inadequate.


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