IT education should be developed as IT industry to rekindle hope of Nepalese youths

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Pankaj Jalan photo
Pankaj Jalan

Pankaj Jalan
Former President, IEPAN

Pankaj Jalan is the Founder President of IEPAN- International Education Providers’ Association of Nepal, the umbrella organization of Nepalese educational institutions running international courses in Nepal. Although an ad hoc committee of IEPAN was formed in 2007 AD under his coordination, it was officially registeredonly in 2012. Mr. Jalan made many efforts and worked exhaustively during his tenure twice up to 2017 AD. Before establishment of IEPAN, the government ignored their appeal, but when IEPAN members got united, the government was obliged to listen to their genuine suggestions regarding pursuing international education and implementing the same in Nepal.

The Ministry for Education has accepted their request for measuring the level of education based on credit hour rather than the academic year. Mr. Jalan shares his view that they have realized that the association (IEPAN) has made the government listen to their problem. Mr. Jalan is the Chairperson at Lord Buddha Education Foundation and Patan College for Professional Studies. Excerpts:

There was a dispute over four years and three years’ bachelor degree program in Nepal. What is the fundamental difference between them?

The education system of Nepal is vague to understand and the government’s policies are evanescent. However, there is confusion looming over Nepalese colleges regarding implementation of either British System or American System of education impartation.In 2009 AD, the USA conducted a survey on the four-year bachelor program and found a lot of demerits. The report showed that the drop-out rate was high in the four-year program. Students were found working for four monthsand getting into on-campus status for eight months only.In such a condition, the college had to provide 12 months’ salary to the faculty of teachers. Consequently, the college compelled to impose high fee structure. After finding a lot of demerits, most states of the USA too started three years’ course. Harvard University started three years’ bachelor program in 1976 AD.So, it is not reasonable argument on the implementation of four or three years’ bachelor programs. Rather students’ quality and eligibility is determined in terms of credit hours of each subject.But in the context of Nepal, the government has strictly circumscribed the four-year bachelor program for not only management program also for Humanities too.

What are the contributions of foreign University affiliated colleges to the national economy?

The latest data showthat around10-12 thousand students are currently studying in foreign University affiliated colleges in Nepal. Every student spends at least NPR 40 arab for their higher education in a foreign land. So, inthis calculation, we have managed to stop as much as 4 to 5hundred crore rupees from going to the account of foreign Universities/ colleges. So, saving 4 to 5 hundred crore rupees but sending only 5-10 crore rupees is a great contribution of Nepalese institutions to national economy. Similarly, students who have studied in foreign lands rarely returned to Nepal and utilize their learned expertise for the development of the nation. On the contrary, the students who have gained a foreign degree in Nepal are fully devoted to social welfare. In this sense, our contributions are immense to the provision of highly qualified human resources for the nation.

Since you are the founder chairperson of IEPAN and inspection authority of foreign degree in Nepal, what differences can we find between the education system of foreign University and Nepalese University?

There are fundamental differences in the education system between foreign Universities and Nepalese Universities. Firstly, the evaluation system of Nepal is based on evaluation of students’ exams at the end of semester/year, since the questions are prepared in a traditional way with the motive of testing the memory of students, whereas the evaluation system of foreign Universities is more innovative and scientific and follow continuous evaluation system. Assessment system is fair and transparent. Secondly, there is a vast difference in the curricula. Foreign Universities have designed core curricula focusing on research-oriented education. Foreign Universities offer updated and advanced curricula as per the demand and change of time. Another difference is found in delivery system and strictly following academic calendar. So, there are a number of differences between these two types of Universities (national and foreign) on the basis of delivery system, academiccalendar and evaluation system.

In your opinion, what should be done to run both Nepalese University and foreign University affiliated colleges smoothly in Nepal?

First of all, the apex body should be formed to monitor and guide all the institutions providing higher education in Nepal. Similarly, an independent accreditation board should be established to provide accreditation. The apex body should be independent and should provide guidance and direction to all the institutions concerning delivery of academic service, course content, and evaluation system and maintenance of international standards in the courses offered by the Universities.

Lord Buddha Education Foundation (LBEF) is the pioneer educational institution dedicated to imparting quality education in Nepal. Could you share with us its contributions to the nation’s economic progress?

Lord Buddha Education Foundation is the first IT college of Nepal to enter into Information and Technology education. LBEF has produced more than 8000 graduates in various fields; most of them are from IT sector. Our products have shown their outstanding performance in various sectors of national life, particularly in the field of IT. Our contribution is regarded as one of the effective measures to produce IT experts in the country and to stop a number of youths wishing to go to foreign lands in pursuit of IT education.

Lord Buddha Education Foundation is now running courses in academic collaboration of  Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Malaysia. Pioneer university of Malaysia of IT. Currently, Lord Buddha Educational Foundation is running BBM (E-Business), MBA (Morning), MBA (Weekend), B.Sc. (Hons.) IT with specialization in Network Computing, Cloud Computing, Mobile Technology, Internet of Things (IoT), M.Sc. ITM (Morning) and M.Sc. ITM (Weekend).

How will Lord Buddha Education Foundation go ahead in the future?

We are planning to introduce smart education that would contribute to the escalation of technology sector of the country.We are not working not only to expand and develop our college but to serve the nationby producing qualified human resources. Similarly, we are planning to update education system in collaboration with the government.

What suggestions would you like to give to students who are in search of attaining an international qualification in Nepal?

The world has become digitized amid marvels of information and technology. So, I suggest that students should purse IT course in a top-notch institution. For this, LBEF Education Network is fully committed to providing foreign degree in Nepal at affordable fee structure.

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