सोमबार, ०३ बैशाख २०८१
शिक्षामा गत साता

Student centric Week

Even if there is a problem in the education of the students, if the relevant agencies of the government and the political leaders at all levels are not interested, this problem will be repeated and will continue.

विहीबार, १५ चैत्र २०८०

Kathmandu - In the last two weeks, there was more news a around school education including SEE exams. Activities by the Municipalities continue to pour in.The news on the 'instructions' given by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to  Municipalities, resumption of the discussion of Federal Education Bill, the start of the Registrar and Rector selection process in Tribhuvan University(TU) were also disseminated in the media in the last two weeks. The period also saw a number of articles around education. 

After Mr Ammar Bahadur Thapa was elected as the Chairman of the Education, Health and communication Technology Committee of the House of Representatives, the discussion on the School Education Bill also resumed last week, mentioned in the news. Member of Parliament of CPN (United Socialist) Party, from Dailekh, Thapa was elected as the Chairperson of the committee. The post was vacant  Chair Bhanubhakta Joshi, was appointed as a minister in the reshuffled cabinet. Before this, the committee had collected suggestions from stakeholders. Nepali Congress Joint Secretary Badri Prasad Pandey expressed opinion in a program that 'Education Act has fallen under the conflict of three levels of government' also became news.

There was news that 2 thousand 57 Examination Centers have been fixed for the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) to be conducted at the end of class 10 has also been announced. About five lakh students are to  participate in the examination starting  from March 28th and end on April 9th. It was mentioned in the news that there is an exam center in Japan this year as well. There were a bit detailed more news around SEE relating the type of centres, type of examinees etc. 

The ceiling of the federal education budget for the next financial year has been set at 56.82 billion rupees. Although this is Rs 5.2 million more than last year, it will be grossly insufficient to meet the minimum obligation of education, according to the Ministry of Education, the news carried.

The news also covered issues around the vacant VCs of the Eastern University Midwest and Far-western Universities also mentioned in the news. The post of VCs has been vacant since February 2 in all the three universities. The VC of TU has  called the vacancies for Registrar and the Rector. In the mean time, there was another  news that the Nepal Student Association, student wing of Nepali Congress Party, has demanded  a 'vision paper' from VC of TU Prof. Baral.

There was a news in the OnlineKhabar, that there is an extreme shortage of students in the Central Departments and Campuses of  TU. Even though the number of students enrolled in English, Political Science and History is satisfactory, in some subjects such as Master of Engineering and Zoology, TU there was not a single student. Generally, the university has adopted a policy of not admitting less than 10 students in a subject under  its Semester System. Departments with less than 10 students cannot hire part-time teachers also. 

There was another news the Medical Education Commission openingway to conduct under graduate (PCL) and graduate level nursing programs in the same institution.

There was also noise on the error of examination date for the BBS 'Microeconomics for Business' subject scheduled Chait 31st whereas the month has only 30 days. The office corrected the error. The schedule has been revised, that the examination of that day will be held on 2nd Baisakh.

This is a vivid example of media making noise for a non-issue that shadows other important issues around exams or education. This simply is a human error,

There are more Municipalities taking a decision that people's representatives, teachers and employees who are taking benefit from the government should send their children to Community Schools. These are Musikot and Chhatrakot of Gulmi, Ambukhaireni of Tanahun and Kamalamaiof Sindhuli,

The editors have been repeatedly raising the issue that such populist sounding decisions are made but not implemented and that even ordinary parents would not send their children to public   schools wihtout restoring a faith on them.They need to work more to do so rather than making decision although a level of desperation to improve education can be felt. Media is also not     following up the decisions.

There was news that five community alias governmental schools of Chowrideurali RM of Kavrepalanchok have been declared as 'Three Star' schools that have fulfilled  ten indicators of drinking water, sanitation and environmental hygiene.

Gadadev Basic School at Pancheswar RM in Baitadi, that was padlocked for a year and a hlaf due to construction conflicts for under payment was opened with the help of police, news also stated.  

There is another news that the teachers and employees of Fatuwa Vijayapur Municipality of Rautahat, have refused to take the annual examination as protest because they have not received their salaries since June. 

Editors have repeatedly raising this isssue but to no avail. 

There was however, another news that  all 16 public schools in Sarlahi's Haripurwa municipality have been opened,  that was closed for similar reasons since February 18th for they were not paid since last July for  the Municipal Assembly could not hold the meeting due to political disputes. 

There was also news of the detention of school authorities after 14-year-old Shaleen Pokhrel was found hanging in the dormitory of Ekta Shishu Niketan School in Ratnanagar, Chitwan.

It was reported that the students of technical stream in Achham's Janakalyan Secondary School (SS) have  padlocked the for charging more  fees than prescribed by the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).  CTEVT has set a maximum fee of Rs. 230 thousands and the school has charged more than Rs. 251 thousands.

There is  also news of the community school of Badimalika Municipality of Bajura serving midday meal of locally produced millet, corn and other grains.  

Similarly, there was news that Dharan Mayor Hark Sampang sent a letter to a school and asked them to donate their labor of class 11 and 12 students on Saturday.

There was news that the legal challenge of the decision to implement the same uniform in all schools by Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City (SMC) is foiled. Private school owners went to the Biratnagar High Court demanding the cancellation of the decision to implement the same uniform in public and private schools from the new academic session, the court did not issue an order to unturn the decision. There is another yet another news that SMC has demanded educational qualification details, appointment documents and salary details of teachers working in the private schools. It was mentioned in the news that the SMC has written a letter to the Private schools saying that there have increased complaints about the teachers not being given appointment letters to the teachers working in their schools and not paying the amount of wages set. 

There was news that the Mahashila RM of Parbat has provided annual grant of 50,000 as an incentive to students studying mathematics, science and PCL staff nurses in 11th and 12th grades. It was mentioned in the news that the initiative was takenin  the  shortage of  skilled human resource in the municipality. 

Another news was that the Obama Foundationhas named Sanam Doka Sherpa as the 'Education Champion Nepal'. She is the director of Nepal based organization 'The Small World' and has worked in the field of girls' education for one and a half decades in the remote village of Solukhumbu. 

Similarly, There was a news, Greenpeace SS of Kohalpur in Banke, United Public Baljyoti School of Gorkha are protecting and promoting  endemic flora. 

The news carried that the 'Educational Infrastructure Program' running in all 79 local municipalities of all 10 districts of Karnali Province has helped in the development of physical and educational infrastructure of community schools. 

The MoEST Minister Sumana Shrestha issued a 10-point circular to the Municipalities urging to take action regarding free education, determination of fees and scholarship distribution by private schools made  a news. 

It met mixed reactions and those concerned with public education take it as yet another populist and unnecessery move by Minister. This only indicates that the Minister is  supporting status quo by asking the Municipalities to regulate the private schools to be responsive to parents while her job should have been to urge the parents to pay attention to the public schools where government has invested so much instead of feeling compelled to go to expensive private schools. Call the teachers to face the challenge of dilapidated public schools vis-a-vis fee paying private schools. Of course not easy, but indicate the urge of the Minister to appear to be doing something rather than actually doing it. The first move has not encouraged her expectants ! 

Other news included MoEST's instruction to deliver textbook in time (on which Gorakhapatra carried an editorial), 51 year old Santa B Gurung from Makwanpur attending 8th grade after 37 years. 

There have been few articles around educational issues. 

Jagan Karki wrote an article in Online Khabar that it is fine to study postgraduate level in UK, but there is a high risk for those who come to study for graduation. Similarly, there is another news that the Australian government has started being strict on student visas to foreign student. The Australian government has started giving student visas only to who are capable of academically and financially. As foreign students are   changing universities, problems began to appear in the universities and with the increase in the number of foreign students, the housing and employment crisis in Australia has also started to appear, most of the students misused the study visa as a way of immigration, and it increase the risks of damaging the reputation of Australian universities. So that it was mentioned in the news that Australia is issuing visas only after studying the abilities of the students who have applied for the visa.

Shailendra Giri's article in Gorkhapatra mentioned that the present condition of engineering education in Nepal is not so satisfactory and its future is full of opportunities and challenges. It was mentioned in the article that since Nepali engineers have to compete with the engineers of international arena, universities and colleges should now pay special attention to the quality of engineering education.

In the article written by Ramesh Prasad Gautam in Gorkhapatra, discussing the need for good education to be considered worthy, the teacher working in the school should be conscientious and understand the dignity of the profession. The teacher should perform his duties like whatever his position is as temporary, contract, relief, private, permanent, like silver circle in a black cloud, mentioned in the article.

Basant Acharya has written an article that attention should be paid to adjusting the curriculum to make technical education uniform. Technical education has not been developed in a qualitative manner due to the fact that one type of technical education school continues to receive large sums of money and the other type of school does not receive any support, mentioned in the article. Similarly, In Prof. Dr. Mahendra Prasad Sharma's article, it was mentioned that the theoretical education given so far is incomplete; the students can explain but cannot perform. Nepali student will be screened by foreigners and given some practical knowledge to be used in their own country, mentioned in the article.

In Madhu Rai's article mentioned that the process of teaching learning is becoming complicated due to the lack of knowledge about the basic skills of children's early teaching and learning among teachers and parents. Similarly, in an article wrote by Shiva Mukhiya on text, teaching method and system of school education, it has been described that there is no harmony between studies and behavior.

Education Last Week's main aim of this effort is to identify, enumerate and explain major education issues picked up by the media and give back and foreground of the news from the perspective of social justice and creative pedagogies. 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), have sourced  dailies Kantipur and Gorkhapatra (Nepali) and  The Himalayan Times (English), online  media OnlineKhabar, Setopati and Ratopati, and Himalayan TV and Nepal Television between March 9- 23, 2024 (26 Falgun- 10 Chairt 2080) - The Editor.