Secondary Education Examination and Medical Higher Education

Kathmandu - This week result of SEE was published and remained focus of education matters published in the media. Discussion on the new method of grading system remained the topic of opinion articles. Issues of corruption in medical education were also raised this week, as BPKIHS students’ padlocks administration over foreign students’ quota issue. News of public schools teaching in English medium performing better was also reported. The raising gap in society due to dual education system of public and private was subject of an editorial this week. Some news about case of physical punishment and innovative education practices was also reported this week. 

Abbreviations: MOEST- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, TUSC-TU Service Commission, KD-Kantipur Daily, THT-  The Himalayan Times, , SEE- Secondary Education Examination

- The Office of the Controller of Examinations on Thursday published the results of Secondary Education Examination-2019 in letter grading system. The exams were held in March-April. A total of 459,275 students — 449,642 from academic and 9,633 from technical schools — had taken the exams under regular category. Under the Grade Point Average system, only 2,792 students from community schools scored Grade A-plus (GPA 3.60 to 4), while 14,788 students of private schools scored the Grade A plus. The Office of the Controller of Examinations today published the results of Grade X, also called Secondary Education Examination-2019, in letter grading system. The exams were held in March/April. Total number of students securing A-plus accounts for 3.8 per cent, compared to 3.06per cent last year. Only 133 students from private school scored Grade D (GPA 0.80 to 1.20), while 4,296students from community schools scored the Grade D. Three times more students took exams from community schools then from private schools.  Secretary at Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said thatthe results were not satisfactory given the investment by all three tiers of governmentsand the public in school education.

- Article about international innovation in education was covered in the media this week. An article shared examples of school that were built into communityand innovative school practices without books. The West Philadelphia School of the Future does not require students to have books.Instead, students use computers. A note-taking app, OneNote, is used to teachmathematics. Each class has computerized smart boards instead of traditional boards. Digital lockers in the school open with the flash of an IDcard. The school was opened in 2006.The students and teachers faced several challenges soon after the school opened.Students were not yet technically ready to jump in the deep end of going digital. Theteachers also had problems with incorporating the desired level of technology. But nowthe school is running successfully and students score high marks in mathematics andreading. School on wheels is another example shared in the media this week.A governmental organization in Karachi, Pakistan, launched its first mobile schoolwhen it bought a bus in 1993 for the purpose. The foundation aims to educate childrenin slum areas in the port city of Karachi. Equipped with benches, desks and a largeblackboard, the bus picks up children from different areas of the city. As many as 160students study inside the bus in four shifts of two hours each. A teacher and a teaching assistant teach the students thebasics of reading and writing. And each student is taught on an individual basis.

This example can be of relevance for local governments to experiment with different innovative approaches to reaching out of school children based on the local context of the municipality. Since local governments are independent to approach school education, different innovative approaches could be planned for addressing the contextual need of the society and families in the municipality. The separate innovation in education department could be formed at provincial or federal level for research and development to identify and experiment on such innovative practices to ensure access to schools and education.

- BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences was reported to be padlocked over foreign student quota this week. Residential doctors at BPKIHS, who have accused the institute of allocating higher quota for foreign students aspiring for medical studies, padlocked the offices of the vice-chancellor and rector today. Alleging that the quota that the institute had set aside for foreign students interested in being enrolled in the MD and MS programs was higher than provisioned by the National Medical Act, Junior Resident Welfare Society padlocked the offices of VC and Rector of the institution. The society also padlocked the main gate and staged a sit-in. Govinda KC, a senior orthopaedic surgeon at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, also issued a press statement today expressing concern about allocation of more seats to foreign students for MD and MS programs at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan.  

Students of DhurbaJyoti Secondary School of Kali Gandaki Rural Municipality processing vegetables produced in the premise of the school to send it in the market. June 28_KD

There is increasing coverage of public schools focusing on skills and practical education in the media. Such coverage definitely has encouraged schools to focus of skills and knowledge relevant to the community where the schools exist. On the other hand, it also creates a positive view towards agriculture as a profession. Schools have in many context separated school students from agriculture as a profession of illiterate. 
- An editorial discussed on the status of public school exposed by the SEE results. The editorial in THT stated that the present investment approach is inefficient and is a colossal wastage of national resources, as not only the federal government but also the provincial and local levels put a lot of money in the education sector with no sight of improvement in school results. Year after year, it is hard to see why the community schools should fare so poorly compared to the private schools states the writer. If there had been no private schools in the country, one can well imagine just how disastrous SEE results would have been states the editorial. It states that there is a systemic problem, and unless we can fix it, it would be hopeless to expect education quality to improve in the community schools.It identifies that quality education begins with quality teachers, and that seems to be lacking in the community schools, although not all. Unless the schools can hold them accountable for the poor performance of the students year after year in the SEE exams and at other levels, one cannot expect education quality to improve at all. At present context a teacher once appointed can pocket his or her salary and other benefits until retirement without having to worry about how the students do in school. Sodismissing the unqualified teachers and recruiting fresh ones through a highly selectiveappointment process will improve the quality of education and help shape the studentsinto good citizens.
- The editorial rightly focus on the need to question the efficiency of the expenditure on education and school and states the key to quality education in public schools is in addressing accountability of teachers of public school. This is in line with the spirit of federal system, but has been delayed by the interest of the teachers’ union and education ministry itself, as seen through the media reports.
An opinion article suggested on reforming school management system by introducing assistant principle, to introduce distributed leadership and increase the capacity of institution for more progressive approach in schools. An opinion article discussed the impact of the continuation of the dual education system in the society. The raising inequality and loosing trust on the government due to low grade quality of public schools handled by government was discussed. An opinion article also discussed about the market dominated approach to education and called for a more holistic approach. Some letters also stated the loss of studying culture in students due to the letter grading system, as sense of pressure and competition has been minimized. 
'Education this Week' is a joint effort put to analyze the press coverage of education in Nepal’s selected print media published in Kathmandu. The main aim of this effort is to identify and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground of the news.This, we believe, will help policy makers and other responsible people to keep abreast with ongoing concerns and discussions on and around education. EduKhabar, in collaboration with the Center for Educational Policies and Practices (CEPP) , has produced this analysis based on the news printed in Kantipur (Nepali) and The Himalayan Times (English), Dailies, Himal Weekly(Nepali) and online portal)between June 26-July 2, 2019 (Asar 11-17, 2076)- Editor.
All analysis read by this link : Education This week