Nepal | January 17, 2021

‘New course for grades XI, XII adds burden on students, schools’

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Higher Institutions and Secondary Schools’ Association Nepal, an umbrella organisation of private schools teaching up to Grade XII, has stressed that the new curriculum envisioned by the government for grades XI and XII will add more burden on students and schools.

HISSAN reiterated the view after a division bench of Justices Tej Bahadur KC and Prakash Dhungana of the Supreme Court yesterday passed an order against a writ petition seeking non-implementation of the new curriculum.

The petition was filed by Bhagwata Aryal, a mathematics teacher, after the government kept mathematics as an optional subject in both grade XI and XII.

HISSAN, in contrast, has been asking to decrease the number of subjects to five. As per the new academic provision, grade XI and XII students are required to study at least six subjects instead of the five at present. Of the six subjects, three are compulsory — English, Nepali and Social Studies in Grade XI and Life Skills Education in Grade XII. Students have to choose at least three other subjects as per their interest.

This new modality was introduced by the Curriculum Development Centre in line with switching the old teaching system with a single-track curriculum up to Grade XII. Students, as per the new curriculum, can choose 80 elective subjects divided into four groups.

HISSAN officials have been saying that if the new curriculum is followed, students who wish to pursue their university level in science are required to choose at least one more subject such as mathematics or biology in Grade XI. This means that if any student chooses to study math, s/he will have to study at least seven subjects.

Lok Bahadur Bhandari, general secretary of HISSAN, said, “This system will not only add to the burden of students, but also make it very difficult for private schools as their expenses for teaching additional two subjects will rise.” Due to this, private schools are reluctant to adopt the new curriculum, which public schools are in favour of.

Bhandari added if the government insists on teaching seven subjects, more students will opt for foreign education systems such as A Level, where students study only four subjects.

“Let the government be clear that imposing more subjects will not yield positive results. It will only increase students’ burden.”

After the result of Grade X, also known as Secondary Education Examination, was published on August 17 above 450,000 students should have already been enrolled in Grade XI from mid-November.

But, disputes regarding the new-curriculum hindered their admissions. Moreover, some private schools have already started teaching the old curriculum of Grade XI.

Yuvaraj Adhikari, curriculum officer at CDC, said since the court has now paved the way for implementing the new curriculum, the board is all set for it. It has already prepared the curriculum of all — above 80 subjects in Grade XI. It also claimed to have published books of all three compulsory subjects and sent them to all the districts.

The remaining books are to be bought by schools from private publishers. CDC has also approved the list of publishers.

A version of this article appears in print on January 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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