What is the Limbo of Grades XI & XII?
We need to settle the main issue; is it school scaling up or campus stepping down? If school is upscale it becomes single track and if campus steps down it becomes the multi-track one. Government’s understanding is upscaling of school and private sector understood it as campus stepping down. We need to find an adjustment between these two understandings. Both campus and schools must adopt flexibility to solve the confusion. The campus should be flexible towards the XI and XII students irrespective of the subjects they have studied if they fulfil the credit hour requirement. Then student can choose any subject of his/her choice in campus level. But if credit hour for certain course is lacking in XI and XII, he/she should be given a prerequisite course.
Schools can be flexible by offering a range of courses to students supporting their subject choice later in campus level. The next possibility is to introduce dual education system where students study in open mode as well. The third possibility is to create a group of grades XI and XII runners and make sure that students will get the desired subjects in them with the same amount which the students pay in the first school. Other schools which offer courses to the particular students will get tuition fee from the first school. After track adjustment other adjustment like course adjustment, resource adjustment and teacher adjustment are other issues.
Is XI, XII (+2) School or College?
Government has termed +2 or XI and XII as school while the market has still taken it as campus or pre-university course. In this scenario, my proposal is to make XI and XII college. Then college can be run in two ways: one linking the colleges with community by offering community related audit courses and non-credit courses that will be useful for the community. Next, offering university preparatory course, which are credit courses.
Now the situation is very confusing. The private school owners are aggressive in their initiatives and influenced the policy stakeholders too because everybody withers in front of the monetary influence. As per the government provision XI and XII are the high schools; we can’t term them as college and specialization (disciplines) like management, science, law, humanities, etc.
It’s high time for the government’s line ministry officials, university VCs, UGC, community college, and private school owners to meet and come to the creative conclusion to facilitate and ease the students and parents.
Paradox on (Nationalism) Name of Institutions
Most of the private institution owners who happened to be the leaders of their organizations too, demonstrate themselves as the ardent nationalist while delivering speeches. They are not second vocalcomposing the nationalistic tunes. However, their nationalist tunes fade away once you see the names of their institutions. Isn’t it a hypocrisy? Why they enslave themselves to English names? Whose interest have they been carrying? Why can’t they honor their institution in the name of the national figures, shrines, places and rivers or even their ancestors? Corrupt mindset that English names are the panacea must be altered. What great poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota realized in 2002 BS and tried to elucidate us about encroachment of English has not been understood or disregarded even by the school owners. Their nationalist attempts seem completely hoax.
Government funded Schools/Colleges are not alternative for Private
We must acknowledge the contribution of private sector while denouncing their misdeeds. Private is one of the major stakeholders of Nepali academia, neither is government equipped enough to undertake the sole responsibility. So, government institutions/ schools/ collegescan never be the alternative for the private ones: but they are complementary to each other. This article no way attempts to make narrative for or against private school or government schools/ college. Both are complementary for achieving the holistic national education goals.
Private sector has come forth with such an aggressive that almost 30 percent students have been engaged benefiting and serving one way or other in the gamut. It has fairly good contribution in education sector. Now we need to pave further way for the private sector with the compulsory provision to benefit certain percent students of government school/ college. Let’s provide city areas’ staggering public schools and colleges to the private sector. They can manage it efficiently and bring positive change. If we do so, the fee of the private schools/ college will automatically go down.
We can replicate the model of Budhanilkantha School, Army School and Nepal Police School which apply the positive discrimination regarding fee levying and scholarship distribution. Private can manage the schools/ collegesefficiency and can reduce the fees as physical infrastructures and teaching working force is already there ultimately benefitting the guardians/ parents. Communityand private schools can collaboratively work for good result. Infrastructures sharing, resources sharing and doing seminars, training each others, and researches together bring them close and help to blur the gap between/ among them.
Let’s find out the areas where private sector flourishes, government sector delivers its best and collaborative efforts pay off. Let them work independently with certain legal and social obligation. Let’s frame a design to benefit all where private can utilize the resources of government schools and vice- versa. Let’s not compartmentalize between and among them. Fee is another pinned issue. What determiners the fee? Is it the actual cost or the facilities or whim – What is the basis for fee determination? Let’s merge the private schools as we are doing with the public schools, it helps in fee and cost reduction.Let’s run the schools in banking model, or charity model like that of Samata School.
Differences between HSEB and NEB Curriculum
There are no such differences between the curriculum framed by the then HSEB and now NEB revised one because both of them carry the proposition of ‘single track’. it was single pronged at the beginning but market, later, redefined it as the multi-pronged. Since market has accepted and defined grades XI and XII as the multi-track and specialized course, the government and stakeholders could ease enough to cash the trend. Now abrupt bringing of grades XI and XII under school education is detrimental and a stoppage to the natural flow. There is no problem in the curriculum; problem lies in management, and teaching approaches.
Continue the two-decade long practice as understood by the market i.e. up to class 10 as school entity and cases 11 and 12 as the diversified, specialized and stream based course. In case of adopting and following the single-track course, the University Grant Commission must show a way in consultation with universities and ensure students for further studies after grade XII. Grades XI and XII owners shouldn’t baffle the students showing various streams in their institutions; it’s contrary to what government has decided.
Mandatory linkage between School and University
Especially the Entrance Examinees of Engineering Medical and Management feel awkward looking at the questions if they are to face such examinations after grades XI and XII devoid streaming and specialization and follow the single track method. Aptitude test are necessary and helpful for such aspirants. Ability tracking exams and prerequisite courses can also help the students find his/her career path.
Our education system will go nowhere from chaos if such contrary pulling and tensions continue to exist. Private sector basically runs after financial benefits which it has been enjoying from almost 2 decades and now government decreed to recess grades XI and XII to single track under school, which Private sector may not welcome readily