THE statement by Education secretary and national education board (NEB) chairman Dr Uke Kombra regarding students’ enrolment in alleged unregistered teachers colleges in both dailies on Feb 11 has prompted me to write this.
Dr Kombra sees fit to make such a statement but the functions of registering teachers colleges that were once with the Education Department and NEB was transferred to the Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) due to a major policy decision by the Government.
The board, under his leadership as the chairman effected the transfer in NEB meeting 209/2020 held on Oct 29-30 last year.
Thereafter, the registration for the alleged unregistered teachers colleges rests with DHERST.
Before the said NEB meeting and during the two terms of Dr Kombra as Education secretary and NEB chairman, the agenda for registration for these alleged unregistered teachers colleges have been deliberated in most of the four scheduled meetings held annually.
There was no direction advising these alleged unregistered teachers colleges to cease operation or to be registered before operation in any of these meetings.
These colleges were permitted by the Education Department to operate but they were yet to be legally recognised by the NEB.
These colleges were allowed to enroll students, implement course programmes and work in close consultation with the Education Department through its’ responsible sectors to guide them to attain their registration from the NEB.
Many of these teachers colleges have fulfilled the establishment guidelines provided and mandated in 2016, which consumes considerable amount of time, effort and resources.
However, there has been a lot of inconsistencies and malpractices by the NEB in handling the registration process.
The NEB does not have standard criteria for registration of teachers colleges and can even turn down validation report of compliance and recommendation for registration for some of these teachers colleges from responsible technical officers within the Education Department. There are final year students who had successfully completed the course programmes in these colleges in the past years and still are waiting for certification by the Education Department.
Many more final year students are expected to wait at the end of this academic year. Now that the registration of teachers colleges rests with DHERST, the Education Department and NEB cannot come out publically in the media with any negative issues regarding the students’ enrolments or other matters regarding the alleged unregistered teachers colleges.
The Education Department has allowed the establishment and operation of these teachers colleges and the NEB has unnecessarily prolonged their registration status.
PPP Policy Implementer