Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba (born 26 January 1962) is an active member of Nepali Congress Party of Nepal 1996. She is the member of Nepali Congress Party convention and Central Leadership Voting Committee since 2000. She was the member of Constituent Assembly and Parliament of Nepal for Ten years (2008-2017). She successfully pursued the issues like Women’s Rights esp reproductive rights, equal citizenship rights, equal property rights & violence Against Women, Women’s equitable and equal political representation at all levels while writing the constitution of Nepal.
She was a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee and served as Chair of the Women Parliamentarians Coordination Committee. Dr. Deuba is a well-known gender activist and social worker and has established a number of women and children issues related NGOs in Nepal including and established SAMANTA, research-based Institute for Social and Gender Equality. She served as elected Regional Councilor for South and East Asia for IUCN and currently serves as the Board of IPAS, USA and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education on Peace and Sustainable Development based in New Delhi.
Dr. Rana-Deuba served as Chair of the Gender and Biodiversity Task Force (GBTF) of the IUCN Council as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) and Co-chair of the Theme on Environment, Conflict, and Security (TECS). She also served on the Bureau of IUCN Council. She represented IUCN as the keynote speaker at the IUCN-PATA Asia Pacific Conference in 2009 and also as Keynote Speaker on the Himalayas at a Mountain Conference organized in Munich, Germany by ICIMOD and its partners in 2010. Dr.Arzu Rana Deuba was re-elected as the IUCN Regional Councillor from South and East Asia in the IUCN World Conservation Congress(WCC).She was invited as Speaker in diverse international forums including at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, March 2017.
Public education not yet free; schools charging fees in different pretests
The Nepal Constitution has enshrined public education as a fundamental right. The statutory provision has specified that students from public schools do not need to pay any educational fee. However, this is yet to be transformed into practice in the public schools of dang district. Students are being charged in different pretexts. Harka Bahadur Budhathoki, principal of Shreegaun Secondary School at Dangisharan rural municipality-6, said the school now is collecting examination fee from students. “We are raising Rs 50 to Rs 120 from each student as examination fee”, he added.
Likewise, Khimraj Khanal, principal of Hekuli secondary school at Dangisharan-3, admitted that they have also collected Rs 60 to Rs 100 from each student above sixth grade. These are the representative cases only. Majority of the public schools in Dang are charging students with certain fee in one or another pretext, which is illegal in itself. The amount collected from student is being spent for copy and paper required in course of examination operations, said Laxman Devkota, principal of Kauwaghari primary school. “We spend the money raised from the students in examinations”, he shared.
“If the spending is fulfilled from any sources, we would not intend to raise the money from students. Though illegal, we are compelled to raise fund from students”, he added. Most of the public schools are also charging students for marks sheet, principals further shared. Some schools are also raising up to Rs 500 as annual fee for teachers of private source. On the other side, the schools are recruiting teachers on own private resources in the rural municipality and now are failing to remunerate the teachers. Binod Adhikari, chief of education section of Dangisharan rural municipality, stressed the need to merge the public schools being operated in the rural municipality.
Statistics show that around 82 percent students are paying fees in public schools of Dang district. A survey conducted by Nepal Evaluation and Assessment team in Dangisharan and Shantinagar rural municipalities revealed the situation in Dang. Likewise, 77 percent public schools are raising enrollment fee, 98 percent are charging examination fee and 10 percent are taking fees from students for salary of private teachers, according to the data