PCL phase-out unlikely this time too

Kathmandu, July 26:

The Tribhuvan University may not be able to phase out the Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL) programme this year as well, owing to pressure from student unions. “The PCL is not our programme. It has been an acute headache for us for long. “We wanted to get rid of it long ago, but I don’t think we will be able to phase it out this year,” TU vice-chancellor Dr Madhav Sharma said today.

Sharma said he will call a meeting of the campus chiefs to decide on the enrolment of students at the PCL level.

He had assured leaders of the All-Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary that admission for the PCL level will be announced on Sunday.

Pointing at an increase in the number of students despite poor infrastructure and facilities, Sharma opined that the PCL should be phased out from the TU.

“We had only 45,000 students in total in the Bachelors and Masters levels a decade ago. Now the number has shoot up to some 115,000, though there is no improvement in infrastructure and facilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, demanding that admission at the PCL be opened at the earliest, hundreds of students affiliated to the ANNISU-R organised an hour-long sit-in at the office of the VC. Student leaders of the CPN (UML)-affiliated All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU) said that +2 colleges mushrooming in every nook and corner of the cities may have prompted the TU officials to phase out the PCL.

President of the ANNFSU Thakur Gaire said that his union has also warned the VC to open admission at the PCL soon or face the consequences.

“We can accept the plan to phase out the PCL only if the government declares education up to grade XII as secondary-level education and takes the responsibility of building physical infrastructure and arranging other facilities,” he said.

He also accused the government of mentally torturing the young students by stalling the admission in the PCL.

“The TU has helped the private colleges resort to financial lootings,” he said.

Eight years ago, the TU had decided to phase out the PCL within a few years.

NSU wants TU to open admissions

Kathmandu: The first meeting of the newly-elected central committee of the Nepal Students’ Union (NSU), affiliated to the Nepali Congress-Democratic, on Thursday urged the Tribhuvan University to begin enrolling students in the Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL), claiming that +2 colleges were unable to admit all SLC graduates.

“We will be compelled to launch strong protests if the TU does not open admission in the PCL soon,” Kalyan Gurung, newly-elected NSU president, said at a press conference here today. Stating that a large number of students used to study in the PCL, Gurung said, “We criticise the TU’s intention to do away with the PCL.”

Gurung said the NSU will launch awareness programmes for constituent assembly polls throughout the nation from July 30. The NSU will also launch another set of programmes on August 11 at all colleges of the country demanding that the education sector be rid of violence. The NSU will conduct mock CA polls in all the colleges from August 14 to 17.

The meeting urged the government to provide educational loans to students by keeping certificates as collateral, establish fee banks to provide interest-free loans to students and ensure uniformity in curricula. — HNS