Kathmandu - This week few matters related to education were published in the media. Most of the matters in the media was related Covid and politics. News this week discussed on the issue of uncertainty regarding SEE and other exams due to raising case of COVID, education as a viable tool for sustainable development, decision to change name of a university without consultation with the university officials, and need for innovation to make fair evaluation of students without conventional exams, opportunities from gap year for students.
- News concerning SEE and Class 12 exams and the lockdown imposed after the second wave of COVID was reported on the front page of Kantipur Daily. Education experts were quoted stating alternative means should be recognized by changing the practice and policy. The news also stated that National Examination Board has started looking for an alternative model for conducting SEE and Class 12 examinations. In the discussion held by the learning group, education experts had argued that only by changing the traditional practice and rules and regulations of the examination, learning and examination can be promoted through alternative means. Experts stated that examinations can be conducted on the basis of internal assessment like last year.
They also suggested that the shortcomings of last year's model need to be rectified. For results, some experts had suggested that the results of the students can be published on the basis of quarterly examination, thematic, class and level equivalents along with internal assessment. Students can also get results through open book exams, interviews, presentations, class participation, project work, research work, peer evaluation, and parent evaluation another expert was quoted. Some had suggested that open learning methods should be recognized as mainstream rather than virtual method due to lack of technological access for many students. Stakeholders had expressed concern that more than 100 teachers had died in the second wave of corona and that the Ministry of Education had remained silent despite hundreds of teachers and students being infected.
- Another news article quoted Education Minister stating that SEE was unlikely to be conducted this year as well. The minister, however, had also stressed that no formal decision had been taken in this regard so far as they were still mulling over the possible ways of conducting examinations through alternative methods. The minister had received a memorandum from All Nepal National Free Students Union, a student wing of the ruling CPN-UML, at the ministry regarding the timely conduct of the pending examinations of all levels. Students had requested the ministry to clear up the confusion among students regarding examinations. In the memorandum, the union has demanded that the government find alternative means of conducting exams and starting the new academic session from mid-June, stated the news. Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization-Nepal Chair was quoted stating that last year’s decision to promote students to Grade XI on the basis of internal evaluation had drawn flak from all corners.
- An opinion article discussed about issue of students taking a gap year stating that taking a year off from school does not mean taking a year off from learning. It stated that a gap year after high school will help students make decisions about their course, passion and career choice, encourage self-directed learning, increases critical thinking, depth of experiences and helps students get a better perspective of the world.
- News reported that the name of the Midwestern University has been changed without informing the university itself. The Nepal Law Amendment Commission has renamed the university from 'Midwestern University' in English to 'Midwest University'. According to the Act 2077 (Third Amendment) made to amend the Education Act, the name has been changed by amending the Midwestern University Act 2067. Vice Chancellor of the University had responded that he was surprised when the name was changed without any coordination and consultation with the concerned university, stated the news.
- An opinion article claimed that education as a tool for Sustainable Development was an appropriate approach for Nepal. It advocated that Community-led public schools in Nepal are often dismissed as underachievers incapable of providing quality education without considering the contribution it does in inclusion and sustainability despite the limitations in resource and capacity. It highlighted that these schools have been successful in providing inclusive education, that private schools may not be able to meet. Community-led public schools are the only vehicles that potentially can ensure social mobility in the country the writer had stated.
'Education this Week' is a joint effort to analyze the press coverage of education in Nepal’s selected print media published in Kathmandu (Online scanning was stopped due to the shortage of staff time from last week - apologies with the readers). The main aim of this effort is to identify and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground 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) between 19-25 May 2021 (5-11 Jestha, 2078) - Editor.