"Students losing interest in science, mathematics in Nepal"
KATHMANDU: It is high time stakeholders reviewed the existing teaching-learning techniques as well as Nepal's education policy that contributed to a rapid decline in students’ interest in science and mathematics, experts said.
Speaking at an interaction programme organised by the Nepal Forum of Science Journalists in Kathmandu today, Sarbajit Prasad Mahato, Secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that there was an urgent need to review the existing policies so that the stakeholders could do something specific to increase the students’ learning habit about science and mathematics.
Presenting a synopsis on “Learning Science and Mathematics: Decline in Learning Habit”, Pravin Raj Joshi, Director of Brihaspati Vidya Sadan, said that the growing numbers of students abandoned science and mathematics at both school and college levels of late.
“Rapid decline in the learning habit among students indicates that there is something missing in the existing teaching-learning process,” he said, “The alarming factors in Nepali context are: failure to connect the science and maths lessons with the real society, fixed but negative mindset of the parents and their kids towards the output of the subjects, lack of intervention from the policy makers and educationists and mismanagement of the science and maths products among others.”
The educationists also urged for the immediate intervention from the stakeholders, especially the government agencies, to regain the glory of maths and science in the country’s educational sector.
“This (disturbing situation) would not only lead to a shortage of scientific workforce but also directly hamper the nation’s growth from all aspects of development,” Prof Bhadra Man Tuladhar of Kathmandu University said.
Prof Jeevanjyoti Nakarmi from the Central Department of Physics at the Tribhuvan University blamed the government for its least priority towards science and mathematics.
Schools and colleges across the country have been witnessing a rapid decline in learning science and mathematics, informed Gopi Chandra Poudel, Kathmandu Chapter president of Science Teachers’ Association of Nepal.
“Communication always comes at the top to motivate the students,” the author of many school textbooks said, “It is equally important to improve a teacher's confidence and skills while attending to their students.”
Tankanath Dhamala, President of Nepal Mathematics Society, said that teachers should build a child's interest in science and maths at a young age and help her older students retain the interest when they would join universities.
Psychologist Padamraj Joshi said, “It should be considered from both theoretical and practical perspectives.”
NFSJ chair Chhatra Karki said that media could motivate the students towards learning these two subjects.
“The NFSJ’s mission is to give momentum to science journalism in Nepal and to support capacity building of journalists covering science technology, health, environment, agriculture, astronomy and other related fields.”
According to NFSJ Secretary Laxman Dangol, over 50 participants attended the interaction held at the Brihaspati Vidya Sadan.