Nepal Today

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Kathmaandu, 16 Aug.: Bar Association president Hari Krishna Karki has emphasized on the need of holding the election to the Second Constituent Assembly on the slated date of November 19 itself, RSS reports..
Speaking at the installation ceremony or the newly-elected working committee of the Appellate Court Bar Unit, Rajbiraj here on Wednesday, he said the country and the loktantra itself would become a failure if the election was not successfully held on the fixed date.
Karki also said that only the Constituent Assembly formed through the election participated by all the parties would be able to write a constitution. "If this is not possible, then even the forthcoming election to the Second Constituent Assembly would not give results," he added.
The Bar president also demanded appointing full and permanent justices at the Supreme Court at the earliest to free the Judiciary of the shadow of the Executive.
Chief Judge at the Appellate Court, Rajbiraj Om Prakash Mishra stressed on cordial relations between the Bar and the Bench for dispensing speedy justice to the people. RSS
It will not be wrong to say that Nepal's entire economy has heavily been reliant on remittance sent by the migrant workers. More than 1,500 youth depart from the country's only international airport for migrant job every day. Besides, many Nepalese workers reach abroad via India. It is estimated that about a million Nepali migrant workers are now in Malaysia and Qatar alone. Similarly, about two million Nepali migrant workers are working in other Arabian countries.

Lately, Republic of Korea has emerged as a new and charming destination for the unskilled migrant workers. The attractive pay and comparatively low-pressure job made Korea the first choice of Nepali migrant workers. Similarly, the high-speed growth of Korea has also triggered demands of more workers. For this, the Ministry of Employment and Labour, Republic of Korea, has already set up an Employment Permit System (EPS) outlet in Nepal and is sending workers to Korea for the past few years.

In this backdrop, Yogesh Pokharel and Laxman Kafle of The Rising Nepal caught up with Lee, Dong Sirk, Director, EPS Center in Nepal, to talk about the issues, challenges and prospects of EPS. Excerpts:

Korea as a new destination for labour market has been quite popular among the migrant workers including those from Nepal these days. What is the present status of EPS?

The EPS was introduced in 2004 and since then it has been taking employees from 15 countries around the world. More than 1,300,000 people have so far participated in EPS language test and around 170,000 employees have arrived in Republic of Korea through EPS. The EPS system is equally popular in all 15 countries from where we take employees.

Some 15,000 people had passed EPS topik exam and are waiting for their job contract. However, there was some problem to send all of them? How are you going to resolve the problem?

About 15,000 people had passed it in 2011 and were kept in the roster of waiting. It is not that those who passed the exam were not completely eligible for job. There is still a long process of selection to get through. However, some people twisted it as if all of them were getting job without undergoing any further procedures.

In 2011, a total of 5,886 people were sent to Korea. The number was about 58 per cent higher in 2012. Similarly, a total of 3,850 have already departed for Korea in 2013 and the process is still on.

We had tried to disseminate proper information during the exam time. However, there was some problem in understanding. I personally believe that it would good for both Korea and Nepal if all the selected people got job in South Korea.

Is the matter of excess number is merely the issue of Nepal or is there similar case in other countries too?

It is not the problem of Nepal alone. Similar roster with surplus number was selected in other countries too. If you look at the number of workers from Cambodia, we had passed quite much more people than we took to Korea. Similarly, we had another test last year in which 4,000 people passed.

Though Cambodia was the most popular choice of Korean government and Korean private sector, only a very few of them got job contract. Remaining people are in same condition as in Nepal. Therefore, it should not be taken in that line. It should be understood that the EPS topik exam was the first level of exam and there are several other procedurals they need to go through before getting jobs.

In 2013, Nepal is the third largest market of Korean labour despite various upheavals in Nepal.

How many of them went to Korea so far?
A total of 17,000 Nepalese people have already reached Korea through EPS. More than 170,000 from 15 countries had been to Korea through EPS.

It is said that the performance of Nepali workers is not as good as expected. How is their situation in Korea? How is their performance and what about the impression of Korean government and employer towards Nepali workers?

The performance of Nepali workers is neither good nor bad. It means their performance level is medium. The language difficulty, cultural difference and disciplinary issues are some of the bottlenecks that hinder good performance of the Nepali workers.

I personally provide some orientation-training programmes for the selected workers before they fly to Korea. There, I mostly focus on honesty in work, discipline and law and order in Korea. It is the performance that gains or losses the popularity of Nepali workers in Korea. It is the performance that increases the demand of Nepali people in Korea. Therefore, the people who are in Korea should make their performance best to leave a good impression among the employers and encourage them to bring more Nepali workers in Korea.

What do you think the major shortcomings of Nepali workers?

It does not mean that Nepali workers have several shortcomings. The cultural differences might be an issue. Nepali workers do not accept their fault rather stare at their seniors if they scold them. It is unnatural in our context. Such activities trigger the negative impression towards Nepali workers among the employers.

Now, you are once again planning to take EPS topik exam. There were some problems regarding the language test as it could not guarantee the command over language. How are you going to improve it?

Yes, as there was some problem with our EPS topik exam, we have slightly changed the exam system from this year. The new system is expected to resolve the issues.

What is the present quota/requirement?

We have fixed the quota to 8,200 including 3,600 in agriculture and livestock sector, and 4,600 in manufacturing. This is a preliminary number, which might go up and down in line with the requirement and situation of the time.

When the exam is and how many people do you expect to take part in the EPS topik exam?

The next EPS topik language test is scheduled for October this year. The exam will be held on 6 and 7 October. We have expected to have about 70,000 examinees this year. The number might go a bit higher depending on the charm of Korean job while it may remain stagnant owing to the improvement in the test system.

You said there is a long way to go before getting jobs after passing the EPS topik exam too. What is the procedure of selection?

The Ministry of Employment and Labour, Republic of Korea, sends the roster of EPS topik exam to the concerned employers. They further match the roster with their requirement such as choice of job, nature of job, health condition and age among others. If the person fulfilled all the requirement of the employer, it sends the list to the Ministry and the Ministry calls them for job contract.

What is the prospect of job for women?

Sadly, there is no prospect of job for women in line with their male counterpart. However, it should not be an issue of gender discrimination. The nature of job and working environment had made is more male-friendly.

Korean economy is booming day by day. Don't you think you will need skilled human resources in addition to labour force in the days to come? What is your say?

As this office was set up with the sole objective of finding unskilled labour, we had better focus on them rather than talking about skilled ones.



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