Two types of schools are providing education in Nepal: government schools and private schools. There is a lot of debate about the quality of education being provided by these two institutions. Normally people say that the education being provided by private schools is better than that provided by government schools. Private schools claim that they provide better education because they show better results in the Secondary Education Examination (SEE). But the government school teachers argue that the SEE should not be the sole criteria for measuring the quality of school education.
If SEE, or any other examination for that matter, should not be the standard for measuring the quality of school education, what should then? Government school teachers should be able to give a credible answer. They should be more responsible because they are paid better than the private school teachers.
Here I am not taking sides, and I cannot because I did my ten years of schooling in a government school, but I taught in private schools for almost an equal number of years.
I want to put forth a bitter fact about the government school from where I completed my school education. As far as I know, only one of its SLC graduates has been able to become a doctor. It raises a question about the competitiveness of those finishing government schools.So, should we abolish the government schools? My answer will be a big No. What we should do is start improving the quality of education there.
There is no reliable alternative to a government school because of the huge cost of sending one’s ward to a private school.
There is one type of parents who want to send their children to private schools even though their income is not high. This tendency could put pressure on such parents to resort to illegal means to increase their monthly income. Among the parents who send their children to private schools also there is competition to have them admitted to more expensive ones.
The widespread corruption in the society is the result of this competition. And the only solution to stop this is to improve the quality of education being provided by the government schools. Improving the government school education will put an end to the tradition of producing students with two qualities.
Besides, the low income parents will not be compelled to send their children to expensive private schools and still be proud of it.
A version of this article appears in print on July 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.