The result of this year’s School Leaving Certificate examinations was disappointing in that the
percentage of successful students was less than 50. This is an indication that the money allocated by the government for education is not being utilized
properly. An impoverished country like Nepal cannot afford to see the misuse of funds in this manner. Clearly, a high level committee has to be set up to probe the cause for such poor results so that remedial measures can be taken to enhance the quality of education being imparted in the schools. It has also come to notice that the students from private schools fared better in the exams than those from government schools. This disparity needs to be looked into to ensure that the standard of education in government schools is upgraded so that the students studying in these schools are also imparted with quality education. This is not to say that the private schools are providing education to the desired standard. It is found that these schools lay emphasis in ensuring that their students score high in the exams to the extent that their teaching is solely exam-centric at the expense of providing all-round education which is more desirable.
This year’s SLC examination pass percentage was 8 per cent lower than last year’s 55.50 per cent. Ironically, the SLC exams have become the Iron Gate for sure. The students who did not make it this time probably do not only have only themselves to blame. Responsible for this turn of events is the entire education sector. However, the political instability during the past year prior to and during the exams could also have impacted on the performance of the SLC examinees. What we had was bandhs called virtually every other day which meant that classes could not be held because the schools were closed. To add to this, the teachers themselves were found holding strikes and shutting down schools. The teachers even threatened not to cooperate causing immense tension to the students, however, they relented at the last minute.
Meanwhile, it is seen that successful girl students have been outnumbered by the boys. It is apparent that there is discrimination in providing education between the boy students and the girl students as far as the SLC exams are concerned. This may suggest that the girl students are preoccupied with household work and have less time for studies. A crucial factor that surfaces is that in general more emphasis by parents is on providing education to boys on a priority basis. This anomaly has to be corrected. Although the Office of the Controller of Examinations was said to have provided grace marks to weak students so that they could pass the exams, it did not help to improve the pass percentage. Something has to be done to enhance the pass percentage of the SLC exams. Large questions marks are being raised about the education sector at the school level. It calls for a dramatic revamping of the education sector. It is not only passing the examination that is important but the knowledge that has been imparted to the students that counts in the overall evaluation. This has to be the food for thought now.
Every year it is the same old story as far as the farmers’ woes are concerned. Their problem is not receiving the chemical fertilisers when the plantation time arrives. These days the farmers are making preparations for planting paddy but not only the monsoon has been delayed but the supply of fertilisers too proves elusive. It seems quite strange that the government line agency that arranges for the import and sale and distribution of fertilisers has not made preparations ahead of time so that the demand of the farmers can be met without delay. But, it is always the same that is the fertilisers arrive in the country only after a significant time lapse.
The farmers are worried because the lack of fertiliser when they are ready to plant their field means that the output would be less than what is expected. Productivity too goes down. It is necessary that fertilisers be imported and kept in stock to meet the demands well ahead of the plantation time. Indifference to this strategy results in farmers being forced to buy spurious fertilisers in the market, which is a mere waste of their hard-earned money.