Many students, particularly those with poor financial means or poor grades, start looking for employment or something to do on their own

The government’s policy is to ensure 100 percent enrollment of Nepali children in schools.

Visible progress has been made in this policy but the ideal is yet to be achieved. But as the children progress from the start of their basic education, their dropout rate steadily goes on increasing.

Towards Grade Ten the dropout rate becomes worrying. In the community schools the government has applied a policy under which pupils are promoted to higher grades despite their performance in the existing classes.

That means even when they fail, they go on to higher classes where the course materials become increasingly difficult, making studies a punishment.

This policy is supposed to have been put into practice in order to stop the national dropout rate from declining sharply. But this is a faulty policy which will only help to show one important indicator of the government’s performance in school education better than it really is.

But this will neither help school education nor help the future of the pupils who will only waste their time there without any kind of achievement.

The student dropout rate will increase further after the SLC examination. Then a significant percentage of students leave studies at all whether they have passed the SLC hurdle or not.

Daily experience of people and news reports that are printed or broadcast in the media from time to time also indicate that many students, particularly those with poor financial means or poor grades, start looking for employment or something to do on their own.

Some go across the southern border and most would like to go to third countries, particularly to major job destinations for Nepali workers. Their financial position and their luck determine these things.

The government’s focus is also on encouraging people to at least complete their school education, which is a right priority.

But those who are weak in general academic subjects should be encouraged to take up vocational and technical education and training which are mainly practical and which make one fit to find a job when out of school.

But this facility is very limited in the country so far compared to the demand for it.

Therefore, the present coalition government should also emphasise on opening of more vocational and technical schools across the country, as well as more of such training institutions, where access should be much easier and cost should be much cheaper.

The students thus trained will be able to find a job inside the country itself or they may self-employ, and even if they want to go abroad for employment they may be at least semi-skilled, which will enable them to earn more.

The new coalition under Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has also expressed great concern for many lakhs of Nepalis having to work in other countries, far away from home and often under harsh working conditions.

Therefore, it would be a good deed of this government if it could make sure that such students who could not go beyond the SLC level could also be suitably trained to enable them to get employment at a time when even many of the university graduates in the country have become unemployable because of the wrong focus of our education policy.

E-waste problem

With the increasing use of electronic gadgets such as mobile phone, TV, radio, computer and digital camera its waste management has now become a challenging task for the municipalities.

Every household uses these electronic items for some times and dump them in the streets or throw them in the garbage collection centres causing much environmental problem.

But Nepal lacks an e-waste management law dealing with used gadgets that are harmful to health, hygiene and environment.

The largest portion of these electronic gadgets contain steel followed by plastic, copper, batteries and aluminum. Most of the materials are reusable but batteries are harmful to health and environment.

Records reveal that Nepal imports on average 300,000 computers and 250,000 sets of TV and a similar number of mobile phones every year.

If they are disposed of haphazardly they will create environmental problem in the long run.

It is therefore necessary to formulate a law regarding the proper management of e-waste so that some materials can be reused and other harmful elements can be burned safely or sent to the scrap yard.