विहीबार, १० जेठ २०८१
शिक्षामा गत साता

Textbook, quality and corruption

बुधबार, ०५ बैशाख २०८१

Kathmandu - Indicating that the new academic session has started the issue of textbooks whether it has reached or not to the schools got priority in the media last week. About 20 percent of the news about textbooks was among the published and broadcast content in the media following. quality, and corruption in higher education at the top.

There was news in Setopati, an online portal, that the government has already delivered the textbooks to schools in remote and accessible areas even before the starting of the academic session this year. It was mentioned in the news that since the textbooks have reached the school before the start of the new session, all students will get the books on the day of admission. Similarly, news published and broadcast citing the Janak Shiksha Material Center, which has already sent textbooks to all the Himalayan and hilly districts. 

There was news in Ratopati, an online news portal, that the printing facility of Janak Education Material Centre established near Nepalgunj in 2005 is out of use. The printing press was set up with the idea of providing timely textbooks in Lumbini, Karnali and the Far Western province. .

There was news that some commercial publications are selling and distributing Early Child Development (ECD) textbooks without the approval of the Curriculum Development Center. According to the Center, complaints have been received against 25 well-known publishing houses selling such textbooks, the news mentioned.

Following the local governments announcing the results of Class VIII under the Basic Level Examination (BLE), the media gave priority  for the news and comments last week to the issue of poor learning achievement in most of the public schools. In media content, the results of public schools were compared with the results of private schools.

The results of the basic level examination taken by the local government raise questions about the level of learning achievements of the community schools and show that the investment made by the government has not yielded returns. By comparing the results of public schools with the results of private schools, the media is helping to create the discourse that public schools are very weak or bad. Even though there are trained teachers, low number of students and most of them have well-equipped physical structures, the question of who should be held responsible for the low level of learning achievements in public schools is not raised. Along with the question of the teacher's responsibility, it is necessary to raise questions about the examination system based on the memorization of  textbook, that the media is also missing this issue. 

The Secondary Education Examination (SEE) which started the week before last week ended last week. There was news in Gorkhapatra that more than 37K examinees who have filled the form to participate in SEE are absent. Out of 540K students who filled the form to participate in the SEE exam, only 475K got the admit card and more than 8K of those who took the admit card were absent from the exam, mentioned in the news. A letter to editor was also published  which proposed that the students who have given SEE should be made engaged in social work. The letter also mentioned that the students have the opportunity to learn various skills from their parents at home.

There was another news in Ratopati, which shows that more than half of the students enrolled in class 1 will drop-out by the time they reach class 10. It was mentioned in the news that out of 1.13 million students enrolled in class 1 in 2014; only 467 K students participated in the SEE examination this year (2024).

Students have increased 10 times in 6 years in Durbar High School (Bhanu secondary school), the first school in the country, news published in Kantipur daily. Only 76 students were enrolled in Darbar High School in 2019, while 750 students for the next academic session and 5 times more applied for new admissions in the vacant only more than hundred seats. According to the news, most of the applicants came from private schools. Kantipur printed an editorial on this subject and suggested that the local government should support and facilitate the management of sufficient educational infrastructure for schools and the creation of a favorable environment for teaching and learning. The editorial gave conclusion that community schools will be successful if there is efficient management of the principal, professional honesty among the teachers and regular supervision of the parents.

There was news in Kantipur that blind husband Umesh Rai and partially blind wife Suryamaya Limbu of Kopilasgadhi Rural Municipality  in Khotang have passed the primary level third grade examination in Teachers Service Commission. Another news was that Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) Sumana Shrestha has instructed Nepal Sanskrit University (NSU) to take action against Patanjali Ayurveda College and Research Center (PACRC) in Kavre  for charging students more than the prescribed fee preventing students from participating in the examination, and for not conducting regular teaching and experimental classes.

Similarly, there was news that the Minister has instructed Kathmandu University to take action against the Manipal Medical College in Pokhara. After the ministry received a complaint about taking more fees from the students studying in the second year, the ministry instructed to take the necessary action, mentioned in the news.

It was reported that the police raided the National Medical College in Birgunj and arrested Managing Director (MD) Sahanwaz Ansari and Lab Chief Sanjay Sah for redhand using  the expired materials in the college.

There was news that the Medical Education Inquiry Commission (MEIC) has recommended setting the maximum price of MBBS level at 3.5 million rupees.MoEST has recently published the report prepared and submitted by the commission led by the former chair of the special court, Gauri Bahadur Karki 6 years ago, which recommended that the fee of the MBBS level program be set at a maximum of 3.5m rupees. The ministry is starting the process of its implementation after the report published, mentioned in the news. It was in the news that 10 people mentioned in the report, including former officials of the University, were recommended to be disqualified for appointment in government and semi-government bodies. 

In this regard, the editorial of Kantipur included the suggestion that the government should show determination in implementing the commission's report to make medical education more orderly and dignified, further investigation and legal action should be taken immediately against those found guilty.

There was also news that the Ministry of Education is preparing to take action against educational institutions that are not registered for A Level, International Baccalaureate (IB) and CBSE programs. The Ministry has requested not to enroll their children in educational institutions that are running foreign educational programs in Nepal without permission. After receiving complaints that some private schools are conducting foreign programs illegally and charging exorbitant fees from parents, the ministry has taken the action forward. It was mentioned in the news that the list of educational institutions that have got permission to conduct these programs has been published by the ministry.

Out of 29.5K students studying in 59 colleges that provide higher education in Nepal with affiliation from foreign universities, 7.5K students have received full or partial scholarships, news published in Gorkhapatra.

There was news that Badimalika Municipal of Bajura honored employees and teachers of the schools who send their children to study in public schools with certificates in accordance with the campaign 'Where you are, there your's'. Similarly, there was news that some RMs have decided to enroll the children of public office holders in public schools from the next academic session.
There was news that the building of Prabha Secondary School located in Annapurna RM, Myagdi, was stopped the construction which was started to build a year ago with a special grant from the federal government, due to lack of budget.

Similarly, there was news that since the 2001, the businesspersons have been using the land of the National Secondary School located in Sukkhad, to pay the monthly rent to the school but the rent has not been paid from the beginning in Ghodaghodi Municipality of Kailali. According the news, half of the Sukkhad market is settled in the school's land about 1.7 acre.

In the posts of Rector of Tribhuvan University (TU) Prof. Khadga KC and Registrar Prof. Kedar Rizal have been appointed. It was mentioned in the news that despite CPN (UML) President KP Sharma Oli's pressure to appoint professors close to his party, the Prime Minister and Chancellor Dahal appointed the person recommended by Vice-Chancellor (VC) Keshar Jung Baral. It was also in the news that VC Baral recommended their names on 28 March. Rector KC is the Professor in the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, while Registrar Rizal is  the Professor in the Department of Environmental Science.

There was another news that around 15 acre land of TU in Nayagaun Bhanjyang of Chandragiri Municipality, Naikap has been encroached. It was mentioned in the news that although the Supreme Court ruled that the land belongs to the TU 5 years ago, which is within 5 km from the Central Office of TU in Kirtipur, the University could not brought it into its possession. The Kantipur suggested that TU should take an active initiative in the process of bringing its land under its own control by writing an editorial on this matter.

Different media have continued to carry the news about the encroachment of the land of the Balkhu premises of TU last week also. But there was not any follow-up in the media. 

In an article written by Prem Narayan Bhusal in Gorkhapatra, he mentioned that while choosing a school in the new academic session, one should look at child-friendly, emphasis on learning rather than teaching, fewer books and more activities, and overall development rather than results.

In an article written by Somat Ghimire in Kantipur, the need for localization of school education has been pointed out. Arguing that it would be difficult to manage many schools under the same local government, he wrote that the authority of school management should be given to the management committee. In the article, it was mentioned that since the parents of the students have the more interest than anyone else, thus have concerns over the future of the school; they should be empowered and made responsible.  Social justice should be the basis of school resource management and there is a need to connect students with labor, with local knowledge, a school should be managing a garden and a kitchen garden, he wrote further. He suggested that schools should not be a tool to maintain the status quo, but a means of social transformation.

Similarly, in Gorkhapatra, Narayan Sitaula has written an article with the suggestion that the state should ban those who take government service facilities to build relation with private school owner. Mandatory arrangements should be made for the children of government service beneficiaries to study in public schools, special monitoring should be done from determining the examination center to conducting the examination and evaluation, Sitaula has suggested to the government. Major political parties should make consensus to radical changes in education in order to prepare competent citizens suitable for the global market, mentioned in the article.

In Khemraj Niraula's article published in Gorkhapatra, half of the work is done by the visionary policy made by the policy maker and the teaching method by the teacher to make the students creative and imaginative. The article mentions that education should be made practical and life useful through the use of local knowledge and skills.

The purpose of this news review is to classify and synthesize the educational content of the week and provide objective comments from the point of view of social justice and creative padagogy to the policy makers and stakeholders in one place. In this joint effort of Center for Education Policy and Practice (CEPP) and Edukhbar, the news of daily newspapers Kantipur, Gorkhapatra and The Himalayan Times, online news portals Online Khabar, Setopati and Ratopati and Himalaya TV and Nepal Television from 6-13 April 2024 are covered - Editor.