Coordination, Innovation, Celebration

Education in Developing Countries: in the context of Nepal

Author : Mr. Rajendra Kattel
Abstract: Since 1952, Nepalese people have access in formal education and it is systematized in 1971 as “Nepal Educational Planning commission” which has been in function with several amendments. It is about 40 years that guide our education system. Nepal faces 60 governments with in these sixty years so that focus of people is in governing system. Because of globalization, we are facing both positive and negative impacts in education. These days, people want readymade educational organs like curriculum, goals, teaching strategies etc instead of building and improving their education system according to their necessities. It is very shameful that our educational planning is guided by foreign donor agencies on their interest most probably as an educational lab. In this context here I am going to focus on the main problems in our education system with few remedies. 

Main Obstacles: 
1. Access in Education. 
a. Cannot go to school Among 676,583 boys and 713,629 girls of ages 4-6 who should join pre-primary school, have only 63.4% enrolment in school. 
 b. Drop out/Repeat/fail Only 20.8% students reach in grade 10 who enrolled in primary class, among them about 50% pass school Level Certificate (Grade 10). Only 2% among admitted can get master degree.
 2. Generate unemployed manpower 
Only 2.7% illiterate people are unemployed but more that 10% school level graduated people are unemployed and it is increasing according to their academic level because educated people are not ready to do physical work.
 3. Manpower production for foreign countries
 Nepal cannot stop educated people to go abroad either they go in the name of education or immigration or work even though government scholarship students like high skill as in medical or engineering etc are not also work in the country easily. Nepal invests them but its advantages are taken by developed countries.
 4. Different types of educational products 
 We have altogether 27 types of schools for the same kind of children. Mainly these are in two categories: community base and institutionalize. On the first category, many subcategories falls like funded by INGOs, Trusts etc and in second category private schools. All schools have same curriculum but vast difference in skilled teacher and in other resources. Because of that, different types of students participate on the same exam in SLC (Grade 10) nationwide.
 5. Free Education
 In the constitution, education is written in basic need but it is not in practice. Government directly does not charge the fees in school (less that 11 grade) but schools charges students in different names. Private schools’ fees are really terrible. One interesting fact that Tribhuvan University Master degree course’s fee is cheaper than grade one students’ fee in private school. Middle class people have no alternative to send their children in private school because quality of education in community base government schools is going very low.
 6. Investment in Education 
 Total investment by Nepal government in education is as follows whose most of the share is for salary and other day to day expenses. Because of fewer budgets, ministry cannot focus on other developmental works.   

 Remedies:
a. Can convince children and their parents about the importance of education and can open many schools nearby village.
b. Can review in examination system to decrease failure/dropout rate and give alternatives if children do not entertain on particular subject.
c. Focus on vocational education, technical education and demand wise man power production to decrease the unemployment rate.
d. Fix the lowest boundary of students’ out come and teachers’ performance.
e. Education must be free for all.

Programs:
a. In Dakar convention-2002, Nepal signed in “Education for all” and already in function as interim planning to fulfill this goal.
b. Just two year before, government started “School Sector Reform Project (SSRP)”
c. Admission campaign is going on in different schools in primary level.
d. Girls, Indigenous children, marginalized children are getting some money as scholarship so that they can afford stationary items.
e. Early childhood classes are started in different schools as model.

Education for sustainable development

We are giving food instead of skill to produce rice. Education paralyzed whole agronomy. Agriculture is least chosen profession and no other well-known profession in production area. Most of the educated manpower is used in teaching and administration. In one side, agronomy cannot uplift because of the lack of trained manpower and other side educated people are unemployed. I, in a group of teachers, am starting a campaign to aware people about education and sustainable development. We have a dream to open one model school where children learn skill and produce something to sustain them. So we focus education with some skill.


According to UNESCO, 
• What if every person benefited from an education promoting development that is environmentally sound, socially equitable, culturally sensitive and economically just? 
• What if learning was about knowledge and also about doing, being, interacting with others and changing the world? 
• What if every person benefited from genuine learning opportunities throughout life, in the workplace, and within the community? I have some concerns: - Does education need to give skills for better and happy life in local context? - Can’t we teach children in farm house or elsewhere in their workplace? - If other concern bodies do not provide sufficient resources then children have to go for that. Does education guide towards it in developing countries? - Can’t we join our schools with market, land and education? 

References: 
1. Flash report of education department(2007-08) 
2. Statistical year book of Nepal (2007)
3. Education For all and secondary education support program, status report-2005 
4. Statistical pocket book Nepal 2006 Governmental of Nepal National planning commission secretariat control Bureau of statistics. 
5. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-sustainable-development/


Rajendra Kattel 
Nepal (kattelr@gmail.com) 


 Note: This report was presented in ISfTE seminar in Bhutan Paro by Author on May 21-26, 2012.
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1 comment:

  1. Nice review.It is very interesting for these who are interested in Nepal education system.

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