Hybrid education yields early results of academic quest

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How would you assess the role of ten-plus-two schools of Nepal for embracing educational excellence?

There are around 3700 private colleges imparting quality education in Nepal. The + 2 colleges have been delivering international standard education satisfying the large number of students. Due to the delivery of quality education, the +2 schools have made a remarkable contribution to the declination of number of Nepalese youths going abroad for higher studies. It is due to the effort of private colleges. However, the university education is totally in the grip of the government and has not maintained international standard in curriculum as well as teaching pedagogy. Unwanted political influence and interferences in university education have created grievances among students which has caused them to search an alternative in a foreign land for permanent settlement. In my opinion, all 11 universities should prepare need-based and resource-based curriculums and endorse hybrid education. Only such education can bring transformations in political and bureaucratic spheres.

You have focused on a hybrid education. Could you please elucidate the hybrid education?

It is a blended education that mixes up several branches of knowledge and skill that are applicable in daily life. In this kind of education, the students can achieve need-based and resource-based knowledge and skills and make them able to work with community, government offices, NGOS/ INGOS along with study. It is fully practical and remedial where the students are instructed and guided about field of the implication of their knowledge and skill that they have achieved in the course of study. At present, hybrid farming is adopted in agriculture that considerably yields in a short period. Apples, oranges, mangoes, etc. yield within one year of its plantation but in the past, it used to take more than double time. So, education should also be made to achieve within a short period of time and clear in the sector of implication. In our traditional system, one has to spend more than 10 years to complete Grade 10, and in aggregate it takes 25 years to complete a master’s degree. Such a long duration of education does not develop the nation. So, the hybrid education is essential for the development of the nation. We need non-formal, informal and formal education which should be made compulsory for all. The present need of education must consolidate knowledge, skills and confidence.

The 10+2 schools are alleged for preparing students for overseas education. As the President of Private Colleges Association Nepal, how would you defend the allegation?

Private ten-plus-two schools have been disseminating international standard education. They have satisfied the students and the guardians. So, due to the trust and satisfaction upon private colleges, the number of students going abroad for higher study is declining dramatically over the past data of such students. Its main reason is the delivery of quality education at affordable fee structure. Other reasons may be due to the immature age of students for foreign study and the feelings of doing something in the country. However, some people opine that we should not be dependent on the government. It is a good idea but even in the present moment, we are compelled to depend fully on the government, especially in the policy and curriculum. On the contrary, the government does not have private friendly policy in university level education. The government has not acknowledged private university as its partner in education development in the country. Due to the lack of strong private university in Nepal, we are not able to prepare need and resource-based curriculum and teaching pedagogy. In other words, due to mediocre education, it has compelled students to go abroad in pursuit of quality education. If there is any private university in Nepal, we could endorse hybrid education and attract native as well as foreign students for their higher education pursuits in Nepal. Moreover, the government considers Nepalese universities as limited to enrollment of only Nepalese students; however, if the Nepalese universities ensure international standard education, we can convince foreign students to study in Nepal which will eventually support the enhancement of economic status of the country. There are only 11 universities in Nepal, but they are insufficient to deliver student-centric and need-based education. In my opinion, it’s better the government sets frameworks for quality education and monitor the institutions than it interferes in unnecessary issues.

Although ten-plus-two schools boast for academic excellence and quality delivery, the prevalent teaching and learning is not aloof from traditional practice. How can students be critical, analytic and creative thinkers?

It is proven that students can learn only 5% from the lecture method, 10 % from practical method and 75 % from selflearning method. Our teaching method should consolidate the techniques of fish-catching rather than quenching the appetite by offering fish for temporary hunger of people. Not only this, it is a duty of government to prepare competitive curriculums and methodologies rather than showing retaliation with private institutions.

How would you enlist the real problems of ten-plus-two students in Nepal?

In my experience, the weakness is seen in both the examination system and evaluation system. In fact, the evaluation system should consist of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and developing positive attitude in students. It should not be based on achieving only marks. The education of 21st century should be able to cope with the challenges seen now and in the future.

What should be done to bring the students to the right track?

Education system should be prepared considering existing needs and requisites of the society, culture, and soil of the nation. Students should be well-informed about the implementation of their learnt knowledge which can be guaranteed from the preparation of rewarding curriculums. What message would you pass onto the SEE result waiting students corresponding to their quest for a perfect school? They should visit the college and observe about its physical infrastructures, teaching team, past results, institutional history, management team and pedagogy, course choices, etc. before their enrollment.

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