Inclusion and Governance in Education Committees of Local Governments
In the last two decades, initiatives have been taken to decentralise the education sector of Nepal through several acts and regulations (GoN 2017, 2). The Constitution of Nepal 2015 and the Local Government Operation Act 2017 have conferred powers and functions relating to the overall management and functioning of the school education sector to the local governments (LGs), but there remain some ambiguities in their jurisdiction among different levels of the government. This state of confusion is because of a conflicting provision in the constitution: In Schedule 8, the power of basic and secondary education is mandated to the LGs, but in schedule 9 ‘education’ is listed as the concurrent power of federal, province and local governments (Nepal Law Commission 2015). In the absence of education act in line with the new constitution to further clarify these policy provisions, LGs are somehow reluctant to undertake due roles and responsibilities including formulating education policy and plans on their own (Budhathoki 2019, 2018).
The Local Government Operation Act 2017 envisions for constituting an Education Committee at LG level to oversee overall school education sector in their jurisdiction in the federal context of Nepal. In this context, this research aims to answer the following inter-related questions:
- What process is followed to form and functionalize Education Committees?
- How inclusive Education Committees are social category – wise as well as gender – wise?
- How inclusive and transparent the Education Committee is in terms of decision-making processes?
- How do Education Committees govern school education sector at the local level?
This research will apply qualitative research method doing case study of two local governments from Kailali district located in the far western region of Nepal. Specifically, this research will involve doing in-depth interviews with local government authorities, members of Education Committees, school – teachers and stakeholders while also collecting local education policies, plans and other relevant documents. The paper will critically evaluate and analyze the ongoing decentralization process in the context of federal system of governance in Nepal.