Kathmandu, July 19:

Eighteen years have passed since the government considered the Grade XI and XII as school-level education, but the Tribhuvan University has been forced to announce admission in Proficiency Certificate level this year as well.

“Due to the pressure from student unions, we have decided to open admission in the PCL level this year again,” said Dr Madhav Sharma, vice-chancellor of the TU, today. “Admission would be open in a few days.”

“The authorities concerned are positive and we are hopeful that the TU would get rid of the burden (of PCL) soon.” The TU would convince student unions and then phase out PCL, he said.

Following intense pressure from student unions, including the Nepal Students’ Union and the All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary, the university was forced to open admission at the PCL level. The two unions had padlocked the offices of chiefs of campuses affiliated to the TU across the nation yesterday.

The state has not bothered to invest in higher secondary education, Sharma said. This time, the government is positive about investing on higher education, he said.

Though the student unions have been demanding that PCL not be phased out, the TU has painted a grim picture of the PCL. “The pass percentage in the PCL level on an average stands around 20 per cent, reflecting a dismal state,” VC Sharma said. Contrary to the case of PCL, higher secondary school have been performing better, he added.

According to Sharma, the TU has been running without enough resources. The 55-minute-long period has been reduced to 35 minutes and a classroom meant for 50 students is accommodating hundreds of students. “This is weird,” he said, adding, “How can one expect quality education in such a situation?”

Sharma said the number of students pursuing higher education is increasing along with the increase in the number of faculties.

Last year, around 45,000 students had got enrolled at the PCL. With the unexpected rise in pass percentage in this year’s SLC exam, more students are expected to join the PCL.