THT 10 YEARS AGO: Education in local languages hits a snag

Kathmandu, January 19, 2007

Lack of text books and reference materials in schools has hindered implementation of the government’s policy to impart primary level education in local mother tongue.

“To develop local languages, they should be used as the medium of teaching in the schools rather than as an optional subject,” said Amrit Yonjan, a Tamang language expert, speaking at an interaction organised by Education Journalists’ Group (EJG), today.

“Lack of reading materials in local languages is a major problem for extensive use of the languages in school education,” he said. “Gurung students are not provided with the books in Gurung language so the students are deprived of being educated in their mother tongue,” said Robin Gurung, an expert on Gurung language. He said only students in Rupendehi are being taught in Gurung language in the primary level. Jaya Lamsal, officer at Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) said, “The sixth amendment of the Education Act has made the provision to teach local language as optional subjects making teaching of local language is possible in the schools.”

He also informed that the government has given the right to translate the text books in local languages with the changes in the names, places and many other things wherever needed. He said decentralisation of production and distribution and authorising private sector to publish text books and other reading materials prepared and prescribed by the Curriculum Development Centre will help development of local languages.

Nagarkot observatory on cards

Kathmandu, January 19, 2007

The BP Koirala Memorial Planetarium, Observatory and Science Museum Development Board will establish a planetarium in the Tribhuvan University and observatory at Nagarkot within a year. Observatories will be established across the country very soon, director of the board Shreeharsha Koirala said.

“Some countries have already consented to contribute to establish the observatory,” he said at the closing ceremony of the fifth school on astronomy and astrophysics today.

“Topographically, Nepal is very suitable for astronomical study, the favourable climate and Himalayas are complimentary to develop Nepal as an international astrological centre,” said Sanat Kumar Sharma, assistant executive director of the board.

“Presently, when the western world is trying to invade planets, our students are poorly acquainted with astronomy.” He stressed the need to produce skilled manpower in the field of astronomy. Dr Jagdish Chandra Pokhrel, vice-president of the National Planning Commission, said “For the construction of a new Nepal, the country must rediscover itself in the field of science and technology.”

“Within 20 years, Nepal has to be self-sufficient so that no foreign aid should be required in the field of science.”