Dr. Madhav Prasad Baral
NIST foundation has a wide network in education, particularly in science education. Could you share with us the programs of NIST Foundation?
The NIST foundation is the nexus of around 8 to 10 academic institutions dedicated to applied science in Nepal. It has been rendering its service for more than 27 years. The institute was established as National Institute of Science and Technology with the objective of imparting education in the field of science and technology in Nepal. The foundation has been operating academic programs from Pre-school to Post-graduate level. The foundation has been running a considerable number of academic institutions in Bhaktapur, Patan, Banepa and Banashthali, Lainchour and Khusibu of Kathmandu. Currently, we have two Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) programs: M.Sc. Microbiology and M.Sc. Biotechnology. Besides, we also offer B.Tech Food and B. Pharm programs along with B.Sc. Microbiology and B.Sc. Biochemistry programs under the same management. As many as 6000 students are currently studying at various colleges under the NIST foundation.
How many students have graduated so far from this institute, and how is their performance in the global market?
As of today, the NIST foundation has produced more than 22000 graduates and all of them have proven themselves to be qualified and self-motivated and globally competitive. They have shown their phenomenal performance in various leading positions in reputed national and international organizations.
In your opinion, what are the traits and drawbacks of private education in Nepal?
Mainly, mediocre performance of government-funded institutions resulted in the advent of private institutions in Nepal. Private educational institutions have made invaluable contributions to the nourishment and impartation of quality education in Nepal. They are imparting market demanded and globally acclaimed education. Still, they lack uniformity in their operation and service delivery. In this regard, the government should strictly monitor and provide proper guidelines to private-funded academic institutions for their better performance and uniformity.
Could you possibly tell us about the strength of NIST Foundation?
The NIST foundation is a network of a variety of academic institutions. The foundation has been imparting science, technology, management and law education through its member organizations. It fully exempts from unnecessary political activities and is renowned as a pure academic institution. The foundation has been actively and untiringly working for more than 27 years in fulfilling the national objectives of education. The foundation has been imparting quality and value-based education prioritizing practical and applied fields.
What are the further plans of NIST Foundation?
NIST foundation is a well-established and well-recognized academic network for pre-school to post graduate level programs. It was established with an aim at focusing on ten-plus-two programs, particularly science. Recently, the government has adopted a new education policy; so, the structure of school education has changed. The government has restructured school education as basic education, which is up to class 8, and secondary education, which incorporates grades 9 to 12. So, the NIST foundation should follow the changing trend to achieve greater prospects in modern education. Moreover, the foundation has been working exhaustively to modify the ten-plus-two program as a secondary program and planning to extend its classes from 9- 12 in all the institutions under its network. This could be true the standard of Grades 9 and 10 determines the standard of Grades 11 and 12. So, NIST foundation has been actively working in strengthening Grades 9 and 10 in all its colleges where the ten-plus-two program is running. Similarly, the foundation is always dedicated to fulfilling the national objectives of education. So, its plans are related to fulfillment of the national objectives of education by extending good cooperation to the government. The policy of government is the guideline for the NIST foundation.
In your opinion, why students should study bachelor level education in Nepal?
There is a trend looming among ten-plus-two graduates in Nepal as they wish to go to a foreign land after this level. In my experience, the main motive behind this trend is to earn money and to get an academic degree. Only a handful of students go to a foreign country to attain a degree. If the government creates myriads job opportunities in the country, this trend can be diminished to a greater extent. The government should adopt the policy of linking education with the global market.
Furthermore, private institutions are playing a significant role in minimizing the population of career hopefuls going for foreign studies. Organizing a number of education fairs is an exemplary initiative of private institutions to fulfill this motive. In the recent days, private education sector is imparting globally acclaimed education in the country, introducing newly emerged and market oriented programs. Pokhara University has made praiseworthy efforts in introducing global demanded academic programs. In my opinion, students should study bachelor level education in Nepal for their secure future. If they study in Nepal, they can complete and receive an international qualification with ample knowledge of Nepal and its contextual variations. In this regard, they can be employable not only in Nepal also abroad. More significantly, they can contribute to the nation by utilizing their knowledge, skills and expertise for its development and prosperity.
In most countries education is directly connected with need and demand of the global market. Why do colleges in Nepal not paying their concentration on this vital issue?
In my experience, there are a few industries and companies in Nepal that can create job opportunities for Nepalese graduates. In addition, there lacks proper coordination between industries and the Universities. Some private colleges are trying their best to develop this concept and extending the coordination to industries and the market. I hope the trend will increase in future and the Nepalese Universities produce their graduates by analyzing the demand of the global market.
What are your further plans?
NIST has a wide network which has been operating with team spirit. I have been involved in this sector for a long time. Due to my age factor, I have to take rest by handling over my responsibility to a dynamic, motivated team that can run the institution exhaustively and thoroughly. So, my aim is to convert the institution into the Private Trust and transfer the responsibility to a dynamic team. For this purpose, the government should support private institutions and ensure their long-term sustainability.
What suggestions would you like to give to ten-plus-two graduates?
Bachelor level education is a profession-based qualification where students can determine their subject by analyzing their future aim, interest and capacity. Similarly, I would like to suggest that ten-plus-two students pursue their bachelor level education in Nepal. NIST foundation is fully committed to satisfying the need and aim of students. Students can choose any subjects since all subjects have equal importance. The only thing that determines each learner’s career is their dedication and diligence to complete the course. If students complete their academic degree with better performance and become competitive, they can be employable in the global market.