EDITORIAL: Interference with the Feast of the End – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

Nepalese political parties regard higher education institutes as their extended domain, and constant political intervention has crippled our universities and colleges. Every college or university has student and teacher unions affiliated with one or another political party, whose whims dictate how the teaching-learning process should unfold. This gave rise to the indiscipline and unruly behavior of teachers and staff, organizations and unions, forcing rectors or campus leaders to devote a great deal of time and energy to appeasing them so that they did not there is no disturbance. So it is not without reason that the rectors of 11 universities in the country asked the Minister of Education, Science and Technology the other day for a positive intervention to put an end to political interference in the universities. academic institutions. Minister Devendra Poudel responded positively, but will his party and the others see it? With the exception of a few, most of the leaders rose to prominent positions in party and government through student politics. And the hundreds of thousands of students who swear allegiance to either party constitute a considerable force of parties, ready to carry out their agendas, including engaging in disruptive activities. This is why parties are unwilling to lift a finger against unions when they are involved in lockouting, picketing campus offices or university principals or other protest programs. Politically motivated university closures, protests and unrest make it difficult to complete classes on time. Politics has also infiltrated the recruitment of teachers, many of whom enter service on a temporary basis through political influence and gain steadily over time without having to go through the process of competition. The arrival of incompetent teachers has had a telling impact on the quality of learning in universities. Thus, financially well-off students go abroad, mainly to India, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, to pursue higher studies, which colossally depletes the country’s meager resources.

Countries are spending heavily on education to produce the best human resources to be competitive globally and stay ahead in this competitive world. But we are wasting the few resources at our disposal so that political parties can find their way into academic institutions. It must stop. Higher education institutions or even schools can no longer be a playground for political parties. Parties must show that they are in favor of higher education reforms, not just honor it as they have done for decades. The major parties, namely the CPN (UML) and the Nepalese Congress, have just had their national conventions which have chosen a new set of leaders.

Both parties and the rest must break away from the old ways of doing politics and bring innovation to put this country at the forefront of development. The Minister of Education has pledged to form a high-level commission to resolve the issues plaguing universities, including land grabbing by party officials. That the recommendations of the commission be binding on all, including the parties.

Institutes of technology

We need more technical institutes than universities to train our young people in various sectors, including construction and agriculture. In developed countries, most young people are trained in fields where skilled human resources are urgently needed.

However, Nepal has not been able to produce a trained and skilled workforce in construction and other sectors which can absorb thousands of young people and provide employment opportunities in the country.

In order to bridge this yawning gap between demand and supply, the government of Nepal and the government of the Republic of Korea recently signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a polytechnic institute to train a construction workforce. in Bardibas, Mahottari. The Rs 1 billion project aims to produce a competent and efficient workforce capable of meeting the national and global needs of the 21st century. If this project is well implemented, the workforce will contribute to economic growth by developing a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the construction industry by increasing their employability. This project will be developed as a technical pole and will also be developed as a technical institute for technical instructors. We need at least one such institute in every province.

A version of this article appears in the December 17, 2021 print version of The Himalayan Times.

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