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Monday, January 19, 2009

Future Policy of Nepalese Tourism Education

Tourism is one of the main pillars of the economy. It has been the backbone of economy in evolving and highlighting its growth and expansion from a limitation to an outbreak of national income source. In such scenario the tourism industry is acclimatizing new and exclusive aces in creating an ambience of tourism education.
To be precise, tourism education is relatively a new academic discipline associated with various aspects of travel and tourism. It is a discipline, which encompasses the needs and importance of tourism and hospitality industry according to society and community to promote tourism in a prolific way.

As every year millions of rupees are drained out to different countries in name of tourism education specifically around 0.6 to 1 million per person to Singapore and 2.5 million or more per person to Switzerland. A huge concern is raised among experts in generalization of the study field in regards to quality produced and future prospect.

On the same, Dr. Ghanashyam Bhattarai, a Faculty member of Tribhuvan University (TU) Central Dept of Hist. Kirtipur and Baneshwor Campus said, “Tourism education is one of the most important needs of tourism. It aims to produce accomplished human resource that is needed and anticipated in the industry, Primarily the government needs to define a hub organization to policy level to regulate the different institution.”

Tourism is a service industry and having an immense scope, we have not been able to exploit it at its best. We are lacking to execute the standards of service in respect to the production of effective and efficient manpower in the respected jobs.

At first we should be able to prioritize the educational need at policy level under a hub organization where the course set would be uniform, transcending the current trends of haphazard curriculum under different universities.

“The policies should further address the need of the industry to capitalize the market rather than to limit the industry,” added Bhattarai.

However, the current situation of relying on foreign work force or educated abroad is a state of reality. If we have a hub organization and maintain the quality then we can produce potent professional to meet the current need here and then can even supply to neighboring countries like India, china etc.

According to the research paper of Bhattarai, government had set a target of generating 111,329 employment in the ninth plan where only 80,000 opportunities were generated. Likewise at the end of the tenth plan only 100,000 employment opportunities were generated which showcase its weakness in action.

Though, Tourism has been mentioned as an effective means of combating unemployment and alleviating poverty in its tenth plan (2059-2064). It is still lacking effective measure at professional level due to lack of effective policy, added Bhattarai.

He further said, lack of coordination and proper data system impeded us at different step but the expansion of tourism field and scope emphasize the need of a prominent initiation of a hub organization at policy level on tourism education without which formulating other policies are irrelevant.

Stressing on the future policies of tourism education Bhattarai said, “The government should devised good policies to incorporate the quality of service and a proper monitoring and evaluation mechanism to scope out the pro’s and con’s of the tourism education”

Currently there are more than half a dozen of colleges teaching in different fields of tourism education, which is commendable. They are giving opportunities to local people to attain the tourism and hospitality education at reasonable cost but there is a relative difference in course according to universities which seems as a hindrance to over come. Until then no matter how flexible and effective policies are formulated for the growth and expansion of the field, it will always be inadequate, concluded the Bhattarai.

According to Ujjwal Satyal, Head of department of Human resource Division of Nepal Academy of Tourism and hospitality Management (NATHM), “ the government should initiate such policies which should directly address the field in sustaining the quality and comparatively the market”

As globalization is adapting more people are attracted to this field, even looking back to the starting days, we had started with 32 students but today we have about 80 student which show the luring number and its prospect.

Regarding the formulation of government polices the tourism education is such a field which needs working condition of the hotel, labs, kitchen which to some extent for the private sector is a bit big and hard.

Apart from that different colleges are affiliated to different university like Tribhuvan University or Purbanchal University or foreign university, which are different scenario where one cannot judge them on same basis.

So, the strategy of the government should be to produce good product nevertheless who produces is not the question. If the government makes hard policies on that then the private sector will not be able to bear it, as it would create hard restriction and limitation, said Satyal.

Adding more, he said, “A policy has both sides- hardware and software. A hardware side is related to infrastructures like buildings, labs, land periphery and most importantly it has to be as good as a hotel where as the software side deals with qualitative faculty member, so both side has to be balanced to produce an effective and efficient work force. Thus the government should primarily address that in its policy. Another problem that hit us is we don’t have a high resource of faculty member. In this part of the world we study to learn where as, this field is more practical oriented so experience counts more than educational certificates which need to be understood."

Again he adds that today due to the effort of all the different institution we have trained skilled worker in every restaurant, bar or pub whereas previously when trained manpower were just confined in 5-star hotels. The situation has become more realistic where skilled people are initiating their resources to work in different small-scale investments adapting quality in the field.

“We have to initiate the work ourselves rather than just encompassing and grouping under a hub, it should be more product oriented where results and quality should be a matter not policy or hub organization,” added satyal.

Thus, the need of establishing qualitative tourism educational institution has tolled up creating importance of the tourism education but still looking at the global market, we need to approach this field study in more proactive and progressive form.
Although the government has been addressing the topic in its planed strategy and other framework but still an effective start lacks.
The current end of violence has synchronized the immense potent of tourism field clichéd to that an effective number of workforces lack which should be addressed at instance.
So the government should immediately initiate tourism education at priority redefining its quality and stance in the tourism policy of the country.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi


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