Gurus see green

In this age of rapid commercialisation, it is not surprising that the once hallowed profession of teaching should be infected with the money bug. In the latest episode, teachers of Mahendra Multiple Campus (MMC) in Nepalgunj are reported to be bunking their regular classes to act as invigilators for grade XII Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) exams. Nearly 4,000 MMC students, with their finals round the corner, were justifiably outraged. What more, the MMC teachers turned out to be blatant liars, assuring HSEB authorities they were only employed with the higher secondary operator while the truth is that the majority of the 156 take classes at private schools.

Unfortunately, the Nepalgung episode is emblamatic of the malaise afflicting higher education across the country. For instance, teachers in government colleges in Kathmandu are notorious for advising students to attend private tution classes. The instructors, not unjustifiably, complain about their meagre perks. But that is no excuse for ignoring their primary duty of imparting impartial education to all their students. There plainly is a need for a code of conduct specifying how many educational establishments a teacher may cover at a time. For if the current trend continues, more and more students will leave Nepal for higher education, emptying the country of the much needed financial resources as well as able-bodied manpower.