That I learned the quality of education in Nepal being really poor early on in my life was mostly due to luck!
After being shuttled from one government school to another in Pokhara, I ended up — against all odds — at St. Xavier’s Godavari School, then the premier primary school in Kathmandu. It was the quality of education, boasting curricular and extra-curricular programs and resources a vast majority of other schools in the country didn’t have, which opened my eyes to the general state of education in the country.
That was one of the number of reasons I dreamt — as a fifth grader — of going to the US for tertiary education.
Again, luckily for me, when it came to further education, I didn’t have to experience more than just several months of post-secondary school education (ISc) in Kathmandu. In September 1988, I went to the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy on a scholarship.
In 1998, an article in one of the Kathmandu dailies and my own Ten-plus-two (post secondary school) teaching experience provided windows into the disorganization that is further education in Nepal.
And that was the topic of the March 5 show, which I reproduce below.
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What do know? This is Dorje back with another hour of Marlboro Music Network here on the one and only Kantipur FM.
This morning I was reading the Kathmandu Post when I came across an article in the Opinion section. The article is about the state of higher education in Kathmandu and the difficulties faced by students here. And that’s what I want to talk about this hour.
As for music, here’s Eternal with I Wanna Be the Only One.
[Music, Eternal followed by Michael Learns to Rock.]
And that was Michael Learns to Rock with That’s Why You Go Away.
I know what experiments mean, the important role practicals play in chemistry, because I’m myself a Chemistry teacher. It appears, according to this article titled “Diploma in Dilemma,” that the BSc second-year students have done only two practicals since classes began…six months ago!! There’s more to follow.
In the mean time, here’s No Mercy with Where Do You Go.
[Music, No Mercy followed by Gypsy Kings.]
And that was the Gypsy Kings with Volare.
Change and innovation seems to be the call of the day in education in Nepal. And change and innovation is good…innovations that create options and introduce opportunities is of course good…if implemented well…of course.
It appears the government and TU [Tribhuwan University] have introduced a new three-year diploma course but neither the students nor the teachers know enough about it even though classes for this course have been going on for the last year and a half! Incredible is all I can say.
Coming up Coolio with C U When U Get There.
[Music, Coolio followed by Iron Maiden.]
And that was Iron Maiden with Stranger in a Strange Land.
Those students enrolled in the three-year diploma program still don’t know the prerequisites for continuing on to third and last year of this program, such as the subjects they need to have taken.
The article says that the teachers themselves don’t know enough. And that it was only recently (after a year and a half) that the concerned authorities held an orientation session for the teachers!!
Isn’t that a little late in coming? “Better late than never” I guess!
Up next is Mariah Carey with a song that debuted at #1 in the US charts—Honey.
[Music, Mariah followed by the Beastie Boys.]
And that was the Bestie Boys with (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party).
I teach chemistry at Ten-plus-two level and I have noticed similar failings. It is assumed to be different and, I am sure, also better than ISc [the pre-existing post-secondary school program].
As far as I can tell, Ten-plus-two is neither really significantly different nor significantly better. More about that later.
In the mean time here’s Will Smith with Y’ll Know.
[Music, Will Smith followed by Nirvana.]
And that was Nirvana with Dumb.
As far as the Chemistry I am required to teach my Ten-plus-two students is concerned, it’s no different from what I remember of the chemistry I studied briefly as an ISc student before I left for abroad. Therefore, I see no reason to believe that any of the other Ten-plus-two level subjects are any different and better than ISc.
Next up, Michael Bolton with Love is a Wonderful Thing.
[Music, Michael Bolton followed by Credence Clearwater Revival.]
And that was Credence Clearwater Revival with Susie Q.
And how long has Ten-plus-two been around?! [By that time, Ten-plus-two had been around almost 10 years.] It is still difficult to find detailed course of studies for many of the subjects.
At my own school we have the detailed course of studies for chemistry only. Lucky me huh!
Anyway, the point I am trying to make is it’s not sufficient just to introduce change.
All right, time for me to wrap up this hour.
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To give you another example, more recently, in 2014, the government introduced the first major reform to the School Leaving Certificate (SLC), namely high school diploma examination, for the first time in 81 years. The reform consisted of changing the grading system from numbers to letters, period, completely ignoring the myriad issues plaguing it.
Then, just a few months ago, the parliament endorsed a bill to hold SLC only after twelfth grade starting next year (2074, the 2017-18 academic year)!