CONSOLIDATION of inclusive curriculum with effective pedagogies renders learners engaged, reflective and innovative

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Ramesh Kumar Silwal, President of HISSAN, is a dynamic personality who has vision, mission, plan and ideas to drive the organization smoothly. He views that in the present context, ten plus two education comes under the structure of pre-university education that bridges school education with the university education. Mr. Silwal is also the chairperson of Goldengate International College. He has shared prospects of plus two education, futuristic plan to stop abroad going students and view with College Readers. Excerpts:

You have more than two decades-long involvement in private education sector in Nepal. Based on your long experience, how do you analyze the status of ten plus two education in Nepal?

In the past, ten-plus-two education was included in the structure of higher education, but in the present context, there is only a three-layered education structure: basic, secondary and university education. The secondary education is also divided into two categories: pure school education and pre-university education. So, in the present context, ten-plus-two education comes under the structure of pre-university education. It is a bridge that connects secondary education with university education. In addition, it is also a gateway to enter a particular field of education. Similarly, it is the education for 16 to 18 years old pupils. So, it is an education for pre-mature students. This age group should cope with physical-psychological changes. In this perspective, it is such a schooling that should address the various changes of students and produce students with good culture and high ethical standards.

You have involvement of more than three decades in education sector. Previously, ten plus two program was under the supervision of the then HSEB but at present, it is converted into NEB. How do you assess both?

Previously, the education structure of Nepal was under six structures, namely pre-primary, lower secondary, secondary, higher secondary and University. But at the present, it is circumscribed to the structure of three years: basic, secondary and University. I searched the fundamental reasons of restructuring education vis-à-vis quality assurance but couldn’t find any facts.

The present Constitution has provided the educational rights of handing the secondary education to the local government which is not appropriate. In fact, we have to amend such provision and only the basic level education should be given to the local level, secondary level to the provincial government and the university education to the national framework of education.

I am not in favor of multi-tract system. In the past ten-plus-two education was completely controlled by the then HSEB which had sole authority to granting affiliation, designing curriculums, conducting exams, monitoring and so on. But NEB is limited to conducting the exams only. Curriculum is prepared by one organization, question model is prepared by another and questions are prepared by another organization, which is ludicrous thereby making no organizations responsible for blatant board examinations results.

Moreover, the existing grading system has degraded the quality of education. It has not measured the overall quality of an individual. To be true, the curriculum has many positive aspects, but evaluation part has ignited public backlash.

Do you think the present ten plus two curriculum is sufficient to produce globally competitive human resources?

The theoretical spectrum is satisfactory although we should manage pre-requisites of exceptional education, such as trained teachers, appropriate teaching learning pedagogy and practical parts. We should first train the teachers and make them able to know about the targeted aim of curriculum. If the teachers are fully known about the targeted aim of education and the course content, they can do marvels in classroom teaching.

The present system has given educational rights to an individual school to conduct the exams of grade 11 which has resulted in sharp declination in the quality of students. In such a can, what can HISSAN do?

The Indian system similar to this has already been proven wrong. So, we have to learn from India and should not give authority to individual college for conducting grade eleven exams. NEB should handle the exam of both grades eleven and twelve.

HISSAN has been conducting pre-board exams but it is criticized that such exam has neither maintained quality nor has included all college affiliates. How do you exonerate of this allegation?

Undoubtedly, the pre-board exam conducted by HISSAN is qualitative in all aspects. It is true that we still haven’t created the environment to include all the college in this exam. So, HISSAN has been bringing the appropriate plan to create the environment to involve all the colleges in the pre-board exams.

Private educational institutions have been promoting the slogan “quality education in Nepal”, but a large mass of ten-plus-two graduates are going to foreign lands in pursuit of happy, wealthy and successful life. Aren’t private colleges able to maintain standard of university education?

There are 777 private, 554 community and 147 constituent colleges in Nepal. So, complete quality cannot be maintained only with the efforts of private colleges. The efforts of private colleges are commendable in the context of Nepal. Even among private colleges, all are not equally efficient due to various reasons. Still, in comparison with government colleges, private colleges are delivering better education in terms of results and performance. Another fact is that most of private college graduates receive scholarships from foreign universities proving that they are really competitive in the global setting. Truly speaking, our graduates go to foreign lands with the motive of better earning, better and more appealing lifestyle.

So, the government should be able to create employment opportunities in the country. Similarly, the academic calendar of the universities should be strictly maintained; as a result, the uncertainty of maintaining calendar has compelled students to go offshore for higher education. Similarly, education sector should be proclaimed as a peace zone where no political parties are allowed to exercise their power and influence. Moreover, all the stakeholders and particular institutions should be responsible for their duties and responsibilities.

The attraction of our students seems to be inclining to foreign university affiliated colleges. Are Nepalese universities not able to provide globally acclaimed courses?

It is not true that there is more attraction of internationally accredited institutions in Nepal. There are 90 foreign university affiliated colleges in Nepal but only around one thousand students study in such colleges. Nepal government has provided unlimited seats to the foreign University affiliated colleges but demarcated the seat number to the Nepalese University affiliated colleges.

What suggestions would you like to convey to the SEE graduates regarding choosing a right college and awardwinning subjects?

In my opinion, the students should choose a right subject depending on their interest, efficiency, aim of life and future scope of the subject. Similarly, they are suggested analyzing the strengths of college management team, academic history of promoters, vision, mission and sustainability of the institution etc. Furthermore, they should ensure quality delivery and level of satisfaction of existing students, past history etc. The parents themselves should visit the college, interact with the management team and should ensure that the college can deliver quality education and academic excellence. They shouldn’t fully depend on the cheap advertisements. So, I suggest that students choose such a college that helps them to fulfill their dream.

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