Since the dawn of civilization was begun, there has always been quest within the mankind about how to develop the individuals and society with the available ideas and through new researches. In the due course of time, it has been proven that education is the most important tool that transformed the primitive world to a modern one. Every country, which has high standard education system, has achieved big successes in health, agriculture, energy generation technology, waste management, a space program, etc. The status of a nation is symbolized by the quality of education imparts its fellow scholars.
Ours' is a developing nation. The history of education in Nepal is not so old. However, in a very short period of time, Nepal has been quite successful in producing the finest brains of international reputations. Despite many successes of the Nepalese scholars and researchers, we are not in the condition to feel proud of our education system. There are many problems and malpractices that have paralysed our education system and restricted its wider flourish. Here we talk about a few problems in our school education system.
Problem in Syllabus:-
Truly speaking, our school syllabus is still very primitive. It lacks standard and upgraded contents. Our teaching-learning process is still limited to theory, it lacks demonstrations and practical. Our school syllabus has not been able to meet the international standard so far.
The contents of the syllabus in schools are repetitive. The some subject matters repeat in the textbook class after class without much addition of thr advanced topics. For example; in Science, the chapter ->"Machines" contain the same topics: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge, etc. in the classes 6, 7, 8 and 9 with only a little difference in subject matters. As on advancement, new topics like Gear could be added to it.
There has been much discrimination in the contents of syllabus between the students of private and government schools. A child faces discrimination at the very first step of his student life. In private school, a student gets admitted to play group /nursery while in government school, a student gets admitted to class one. Due to this, the governmental school students remain deprived of some necessary basic skills.
Talking about textbooks, when the corresponding textbooks of a particular class are compared side by side, one can easily notice that vast differences in the contents. The governmental school students are badly discriminated in terms of textbooks. The governmental school textbooks lack efficient contents, proper concepts and exercises. For example; in class 10 science textbook, the chapter "Electricity and Magnetism" is provided with only 2/3 numericals as samples and no numericals are given in the exercise section.
Our education system has a major defect in terms of the language of learning as well. For example; a student of governmental learns Science in Nepali language. But if the student chooses Science stream after SLC, s/he is compelled to learn Science in English language since s/he has no option to learn in Nepali. The student thus faces big problem.
As a student promotes from a lower to a upper class, there should have been a smooth advancement in the contents of the syllabus. But between school and +2 level courses, there seems to be a bumpy advancement in the syllabus.
Problems in Governmental Schools :-
The governmental schools have been established with a motive to provide quality education even to the poorest of the poors. Unfortunately, most of the governmental schools exhibit high degree of irresponsibility and carelessness. The subject matter is not taught by specialized teachers. For example; the same teacher is found to teach Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and English. Due to this, the quality of education is not well maintained. The "Guardians' committee" for the particular school is politically very disturbing. These days, the students union affiliated to different political parties have started extending their wings even in schools. Moreover, many of the students are compelled to drop out from their schools due to poverty and lack of proper scholarship schemes. The teachers, too, face many problems. They are not paid their salaries on time. Also, its very difficult to manage a good living with such minimal salary.
Problems in Private Schools:-
The educational institutions are primarily meant to save to bring out the bests out of the students. But unfortunately, these are set up as a business form. Bitter but true, the educational and health sectors have become a good place to invest money for short-term returns and big benefits. Blind in selfishness, they have made the morning and evening coaching classes compulsory in addition to the school hours. In such cases, the students do not get sufficient time for self-study and to excel their talents. The main purpose to impose such coaching classes is primarily to milk out more money from the guardians and also to earn the fake fame of good SLC results, despite the students lose their creativity and merely become parrots. Most of the school administrations treat the ones teaching in their schools not as teachers but merely as slaves. Often it is seen that, the teachers are called to schools even on holidays in the name of result distribution, seat planning for examinations, etc. without any additional economic benefits. Days have now come, when the teachers are not even allowed to scold students even when they make noise in classroom; or else the teacher will have to apologize! The basic salary rules are just limited to papers and not realised in practice!
1. The curriculum development committee (CDC) should focus on making the school syllabus scientific and of international standards.
2. The CDC should revise the syllabus in every two years.
3. Demonstrations and practical classes should be encouraged along with theory classes.
4. The governmental and private schools should have parallel courses and classes.
5. The textbooks of governmental schools should be of standard quality with proper contents, enough examples and exercises.
6. The subjects like science should be taught in English language.
7. The gap of syllabus between SLC and +2 should be properly filled.
8. In governmental schools, a particular subject should be taught by a specialised teacher.
9. No student unions should be allowed to extend their wings to schools.
10. The "Guardians' Committee" should be free of politics.
11. Salary of teachers to be increased and should be paid in time.
12. The compulsory morning and evening coaching classes in private schools should be banned.
13. The government authorities should regularly inspect the quality of education in schools.
Arun Kumar Karna
Central Department of Physics, Tribhuvan University