Ananda Kumar Yadav
“The 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education refers: “all types of education, access to education, the standard and quality of education and the condition under which it is given”. The aforementioned reference is to substantiate the universal, inherent, essential and constitutional right of an individual to not get just education but guaranty of quality education. The importance of quality education can be a panacea for all the existing as well as unprecedented problems across the globe. I strongly believe that it is every individual’s universal, inherent, essential and constitutional right to get qualitative education in a safe, peaceful and conducive environment. And it is undoubtedly agreed upon the fact that once an individual is ensured of this right, the outcome will be far more positive, fruitful and advantageous, which will gear up the development process to the next level keeping humanity at its centre.
The Constitution of Nepal (2072) has clearly stated the citizens’ right relating to education (Article 31) with some golden provisions. But it has turned its deaf ears regarding quality education and its significance. It merely talks about basic education. Moreover, In the context of Nepalese education, the state, stakeholders, guardians and students don’t seem to be worried what actually quality education means and what can be fortunate findings of it. Reading books and going to school may generate ratio of literacy but cannot enhance and promote understanding, tolerance and friendship regardless of their cultural, social, religious and ethnic sects. The UN Convention, 1960 states: “Right of education speaks for education for all and education for all can only stand with quality in education.” It helps individuals to grow as citizens.
Our country, frequently speaks about Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), 17 Goals to transform our world, UN General Assembly Summit in September 2015, whereaims are clearly mentioned through five Ps. Going on gist of SDGs, it prioritizes end of poverty, promotion of peace, inclusiveness in society, dignity assurance, fulfillment of harmony by protecting planet through global partnership. My concern is, would it be possible without quality education? By and by, they seek to guarantee human rights of all to achieve gender equality and empowering of all women and girls. Of course, the quality education is a basic human right, investment for peace, prosperity and development. Opening opportunities for quality education is opening the path of sustainable development, earning of potentials, improving of consciousness and promoting sense of togetherness to work and breaking the silence of violence and exploitation.
In the context of Nepal, especially women and children are deprived of even basic education. Its guarantee has always been a serious challenge. Being one of the most ethnic and geographical diversified countries, Nepal has been facing a real threat in producing skilled manpower that can prove its worth in the competitive global market. The long held tendency of rot learning, priority on bookish knowledge, focus on theoretical rather than practical education and poor educational management are quite a few factors to be mentioned that have hindered the way of gaining quality in education delivery in Nepal. Furthermore, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor has been another major issue that has overshadowed the creative potential of the deserving ones who belong to the latter group. Lack of education leads people and youth to different fundamentalism. For me, an initiative of qualitative education is vaccine against fundamentalism, reduction of gender based violence and fight against poverty. Nowadays, Fundamentalism in places like Gaza, Syria, Yemen, and Nigeria becomes terrible tragedies for generations to come. Teachers have been murdered, schools are bombed and burned, and students are put to child soldiers. Result can be different if they are put in class. The hate in them can be changed in love and mercy. Education provides resiliency and reasons to reject hate. Usually people involved in fundamentalism when they have less to lose and have fewer opportunities to legal and academic world. Claude Barrebi in his article “Evidence about Link between Education, Poverty and Terrorism among Palestine-2007” mentioned the same.
Gender based violence, especially to the women and girls too can be reduced and eliminated by creating equal opportunities to them, relating them about their rights, preparing them for their growth, economic liberation and prosperity. Gender inequality, sexual harassment, misogyny, stereotype, social taboos, and child marriage are major problems that girls and women are facing. Violence against girls is linked with violence against mother. Since the children who witness violence against her mother are often victims themselves. Either they grow as violent or fundamentalist as adult. The considerable solution of this violence and gender-based exploitation is, linking girls and women to understand root cause. Process of socialization (the way they are brought up), is the root cause of gender-based violence. The solution is apparent and evident. Involving girls in public policies, ensuring their economic autonomy, increasing their participation and destruction of social stigmas are few of major solutions to the ongoing tragedies. Things are possible through the quality of education.
At present, imparting life-enhancing skills through practical education must be serious concern of the concerned stakeholders. Nepal is a fertile land and is capable of producing extraordinary geniuses in global arena. In spite of this brighter aspect, the poor, the marginalized, the physically challenged and the minorities have long been unnoticed by the state to ensure their better future through quality education. For this, the co-modification of education must be stopped there by narrowing down the gap between haves and haves not, ensuring both equality and equity. It is quite arduous but not impossible to ensure “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” through quality education. Thus, the quality in education can be a journey from predicament to convenience.