The budgets for the fiscal year 2014/15 was announced yesterday. Last year, the budget allocated for education sector was 15% but this year the budget allocated is 13.91%. The government of Nepal has allocated 86.03 billion for the fiscal year 2014/15. For this fiscal year, the total budget is 618.1 billion. For the past 10 years, the budget allocated for education sector has always been between 16-17 percent. But it suddenly dropped to 13.91% this year, the lowest in the past 10 years.
Policy wise, the government has announced that it will pass Educational Act. They will bring umbrella act for universities, and establish open universities. They have announced that this year will be “year of eradication of illiteracy.” The Government has announced grants for more than 2000 teachers in High School level and merging of 200 schools this year. To improve the school education, they have encouraged the public and private partnerships. They have guaranteed the facilities in private schools. They will also support government schools to improve the quality of education. For Dalit, Chepang & Raute kids, more incentives have been announced ranging fromNRS 1500 to NRS 3000. They also have planned to provide skill oriented training and vocational programs for youth.
Despite all these promises, the education budget has been squashed. Bidyanath Koirala, an educationist has shown his dissatisfaction with the education budget. He said, “We have only asked for 20% of the budget to be allocated for the education but this sudden drop in the allocation of budget will not help to progress or develop the growth of education sector. Despite the new educational act and the umbrella act, there have been no new plans announced for the education sector, policy wise. The plans like infrastructure development of school and incentives being provided to Dalit and marginalized group would do little to continue the progress of the previous year’s programs.”