SASI KUMAR UPADHYAYA
It was my firsthand experience of visiting suburban and remote villages in Sunsari and Morang districts during the monsoon months. The major point was to study the poverty extent of students and explore their financial resources for higher education and support them for finance in higher education. In the course, community people, marginalized and victimized students, local representatives and teachers interacted with our team. Besides surveying, being a teacher I was too concerned with the educational trends and practices prevailing in the suburban areas. A few interviewers helped me explore the educational environment and culture in the community and teaching-learning practices set up in village schools and colleges. In fact, the teaching techniques, class room resources and learning culture were not much indifferent to that of city colleges. The schools and colleges were equipped with library resources, games and sports, activity hall, modern teaching tools like audio-visual media, class room CDs etc. But, some facts and truths left me in dismay.
A case in point, the classes of different faculties having similar subjects were merged into a single one. The students of Education, Management and Humanities shared a common class for Compulsory English and Compulsory Nepali. As the students did have any grievances regarding this, the administration found it easy-going. One of the teachers laid his argument- the college administration is benefitted as one class period out of five periods could be saved along with the cost for teacher’s wages. And, since the course for compulsory subjects in different faculties is the same, sharing a common period for all the faculties with learners of the same age group is highly practicable and effective. On the flip side, he expressed ignorance regarding learning effect and impact on learners in a common class of different faculties. Hopefully, a similar circumstance could be prevailing in other regions of the country as well.
Essentially, the need and usage of language (compulsory) subjects in all the faculties are different though the same course is shared. In fact, the course has not been designed as per the needs and principle usage of their respective fields. In addition, the HSEB, Nepal doesn’t ask the same questions to all the faculties, there are some practical difficulties in sharing a common class among the students belonging to different faculties. Managing a mass of students of different faculties in a single class cannot meet the learning objectives of students. This could only dishearten both the students and teachers.