Appealing curriculum and student-centric pedagogy render students globally competitive

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Dr. Ramji Sharma, Principal at New Galaxy School, Pokhara, is also the senior Vice President of HISSAN Gandaki Province and the former President of HISSAN Kaski. He has held a long involvement in private sector education in Nepal. Dr. Sharma has shared his view on the present status and trend of ten-plus-two education in Nepal. Here is a concise excerpt from the interview with him:

You have a decade-long involvement in private education sector. Based on your long experience, how do you analyze the ten-plus-two education in the present context?

In comparison with the global practice, the education system of Nepal is in crisis of transformational education trends, revision and update of curricula, and teaching & learning pedagogy. However, it looks a lot improved when compared with its past practice. It has encompassed some new trends in curriculum, teaching & learning pedagogy, and evaluation system. In addition, project work is includedin the present curriculum as part of study. If the provision of curriculum is duly followed by all institutions, intelligent test of the students can be measured in many ways. But it is a serious matter of most colleges, many of which provide practical marks without assessing students’ skills and abilities.

How is the current trend and practice of ten-plus-two level curriculum? Do you think the present curriculum is sufficient for making students globally competitive?

The trend of ten-plus-two education is enroute to the modification and update more rapidly than it was done in the past. Practical and project-based work are included in the curriculum, but all the colleges are not honest in implementing it abiding by the curriculum directives. So, in my view, the initiative taken by the government is appreciable, but monitoring mechanism should be strong.

In spite of such initiation, the curriculum cannot prepare globally competitive human resources. We can just say that the initiation has made us optimistic.

At present, the attraction of students for ten-plus-two qualifications in Kathmandu-based institutions has not declined yet. Are ten-plus-two colleges of outside valley inefficient in delivering quality education?

The trend of going to Kathmandu is gradually decreasing in the course of time. In the present context, only around 20% of students go to Kathmandu for higher education. Still, a minority of students believe that they get more opportunities in Kathmandu. However, we can assure our readers that Pokhara has become a hub of life-changing education, and a large number of colleges impart globally acclaimed qualifications that can make learners globally competent.  

Most cocurricular activities are found to be similar in colleges/ schools. What additional activities have you introduced to your students for their quality enhancement?

Our college has adopted student-centric teaching and learning pedagogy focusing on project work, experiment and field visit. So, our college does not make our students feel that they are limited to book-based learning and classroom activities. This could be true we have managed to hire qualified and experienced faculty offering a variety of subjects emphasizing the presentation as well as exposure of the students.  

Moreover, our equal priority is to the holistic development of students, cocurricular and extra-curricular activities with an aim of enhancing the academic status of our pupils. The Kaski HISSAN organizes a series of inter-college games, sport and cocurricular activities in order to help students to expose their inner talents. Because of untiring efforts of our college, our students have secured the top-most rank in spelling bee and other national contests.

In spite of time-relevant counseling, still there is a dilemma looming among students about choosing a right college and a right subject. In your opinion, what things are to be considered by the SEE graduates as judicious accomplishers?

In my view, the students should choose the subject discerning their inherent interest, capability and aim. Only the mark of the annual exam should not be considered assessment criterion for the subject choice. Similarly, while choosing the right college, the students should keep their career dream at the center. They should analyze the state of academic environment, past result of the college, available course choices, physical infrastructure, and proven academic excellence. If the college is suitable from all aspects, students can decide on their enrollment. On the contrary, they should not be influenced by bogus advertisements and peer pressure.

How would you acknowledge the achievement of your college?Our students have seized phenomenal achievements in various sectors in the country and beyond. They have achieved a greater height in engineering, medical, social work, games and sports and many other sectors.  Similarly, our graduates have obtained a range of scholarships in their higher study in Nepal and foreign lands

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