Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Giriraj Mani Pokharel said that a work schedule would be prepared without compromising the academic session at any level.

Addressing a virtual interaction programme organised by All Nepal National Free Students Union on Wednesday, Minister Pokhrel said that school sessions would be completed within the timetable scheduled earlier by compressing the syllabus as regular classes could not be run due to COVID-19.

He added that the government would revise alternative learning facilitation like virtual and online classes while alternative learning would be made an integral part of student evaluation and examination.

According to the minister, the government is preparing to operate a separate dedicated educational television for alternative learning.

“I have proposed to the prime minister for a separate dedicated education television channel for a systematic alternative education. The prime minister has also taken this proposal positively,” he said, adding that arrangements would be made to broadcast programmes for secondary level classes in the morning.

Programmes targeting basic level would be aired during the day while programmes for university level would be aired in the evening through the television.

Student leaders of All Nepal National Free Students Union had drawn the Minister’s attention towards making alternative learning more effective, conducting postponed exams through alternative methods and implementing a new curriculum for Grade XII.

There are around 7 million students in the school system from pre-primary to grade 12 levels, studying in 36,000 public and public schools across the country.

A recent survey report by UNICEF Nepal also shows that more than two-thirds of the schoolchildren in Nepal are deprived of distance learning due to technological divide and wealth gap.

The uncertainty stretched over five long months has had a severe mental impact on students as many anxiously await the schedule for their pending exams and resumption of classes.

Increased screen time, low interest and energy, as well as stopping studying are emerging signs of distress, as per UNICEF Nepal’s survey. While one in 12 families report psychological distress in children, issue comes out more explicitly over educational activities, the report states.