Private Education Is Crucial for Nepal’s Development

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Shiva Adhikari, who has spent three decades in the academic field, is one of the pioneer educators. He is the Founder Principal of Ed-Mark Academy/College, Chairman of Safal College and Success Academy, Founder Principal of Wisdom Academy and Chairman of Dhading Multiple Campus, a community-based college. Presently, he is the President of HISSAN Kathmandu.

College Readers has captured some remarkable achievements of HISSAN Kathmandu and tried to collect Adhikari’s view on the current trend of education in Nepal. Excerpts:

It has nearly been one year since you were elected the President of HISSAN Kathmandu. You had expressed some commitment prior to the election. To what extent have these commitments been fulfilled?

We are fully committed to accomplishing our commitment and are working in planned ways. Till date, we have concluded around fifteen meetings targeting quality enhancement. Similarly, we organized SEE Quiz 2022 and Virtual Edufair 2022 in collaboration with College Readers and have provided around 200 full scholarships to XI and XII students. In a joint venture, this year, we are organizing HISSAN Kathmandu Quiz that will be aired on a national television. This is a mega event in the history of HISSAN. We have completed qualifying round and the final round is to be conducted after the board examination of grade XII. HISSAN Kathmandu has also published +2 Practice Book.  Beside, HISSAN Kathmandu has been conducting ECA and research works through different committees formed by HISSAN. So, I think, HISSAN Kathmandu has consummated expected tasks to a large extent.

What are the efforts of Kathmandu HISSAN in quality enhancement?

HISSAN Kathmandu has published Practice Book for +2 students. Our team met and requested the education minister to control the trend of Nepalese students going for foreign study.  Beside, HISSAN has been conducting quality exam effectively and fairly. We have thought of bringing academic plans for both students and teachers for quality enhancement.

At the present situation, some schools are running quite well with huge investment whereas a large number of schools are struggling for existence. In this context, how should school education go?

In fact, the investment in education is in a great risk. Its consequences can be seen after a decade if the students going abroad for study do not come back to Nepal.  Another cause is that the perspectives of government towards private school is not positive in spite of the praiseworthy contribution of private schools.  The government, in one hand, has not been able to ensure that the schools under its direct investment perform as expected. On the other hand it has not developed positive perspective towards the contribution of private education sectors. Last year’s SEE result from the government schools was around twenty percent only. So, I am sure that the education of Nepal will be totally damaged if private education is excluded from the education of Nepal.

In spite of beating the drum about the quality and digitalized education after Covid pandemic, most of the schools have not still maintained it. How have you looked at the situation?

Exactly! Your analysis is quite factual. Most of the schools even inside Kathmandu Valley have not been able to adopt digitalized technology in their teaching-learning activities fully. So, it is really difficult for the schools in the remote areas outside Kathmandu Valley to adopt such modern technology and they are far behind in their access to modern and advanced technology in education.  A very few government schools have Internet service but is not appropriately utilized.

In the recent days, most of the schools are drum beating about progressive education. Some of the schools have even prepared huge physical infrastructure but they are not pedagogically well-prepared. In your opinion, is progressive education an urgent need in the present context?

Yes! No matter whatever drum beating or showing is going on, most of the schools are not prepared for progressive education from the pedagogical point of view. But it is an urgent need to go for progressive education since we have to compete with the global market in the latest days.

While talking about private schools, what type of education should be adopted for their long existence?

Traditionally, Nepalese education is not diversified and education is provided to all categories of students in the same way generalizing them as if all the students have the same potentiality and capability.It is a wrong and fruitless practice of providing education.  So, in my view, education should not be delivered generalizing all the students in the same way. The children up to 12 years should be provided education focusing on developing communicating skills. After that, they should be taught based on their specific field of interests and aptitude. For example, if a bird, a fish, a monkey and an elephant are assigned to climb a tree, obviously, a bird and a monkey will be first and second respectively and other two won’t be able to accomplish the task, but if the swimming is assigned, obviously, fish can perform more skillfully.  So, evaluation should not be made keeping all the students all in a same basket. Hence, for the long term existence of the schools, evaluation system should be practiced based on the capability and interest of the students.

In the recent days, the slogan “education with knowledge, skill, technology innovation and ethics” is widespread. As the founder of Wisdom and Success Academy, to what extent have you applied these things in your school?

You have asked me a very appropriate and relevant question.  In my experience, a school alone is not everything to develop overall quality of the students. The family and the society are equally responsible and determinant factors. The family and the society should be equally alert. So, proper coordination and cohesion of family, school and the society are necessary for the holistic development of children. In fact, family is the first school of the children. The quality they learn from the family reflects the future of the children.

You have told that family is the first school. In your opinion, what could be the role of parents for the holistic development of children?

Of course, the role of parents is quite determinant. Considering the significant role of the parents, our schools have been conducting parents’ training for ten years. The parents have a role to play into transforming their children’s discipline and culture guiding them to fix the aim of their future life.

 What message would you like to convey to the parents and students?

The role of parents is very significant to mold the character and overall personality of the children. So, as the founder of Success and Wisdom Academy I would like to request the parents to maintain moral integrity and discipline and become role models for their children. If that happens, your child will be as you expect.  

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