While education experts have been suggesting to scrap this year’s SEE as well as other board exams and promote students on the basis of their internal evaluation, the government and National Examinations Board have turned a deaf ear to the matter.
SEE scheduled for March 19 was postponed until further notice five days before the government imposed a lockdown on March 24 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The future of 482,219 students registered for the examination is uncertain.
Similarly, grade 11 and 12 exams scheduled to begin from April 20 too have been postponed indefinitely. Over 962,000 plus two students were supposed to sit for the board exams.
In April, National Campaign for Education had said the government should allow schools to promote their students after internal evaluation.
However, officials at the examinations board said it was not possible as doing so would raise questions over accreditation.
PABSON made a similar request to the government yesterday.
Though the second day of the Nepali calendar marks the commencement of a new academic year, resumption of educational institutions is uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Education has informed that all board exams will be scheduled three weeks after the lockdown is lifted. But again, an end to the lockdown is also uncertain.
This prolonged uncertainty has greatly affected the students’ psyche.
Though various private schools have offered conducting online classes, government ones seem least concerned about the same.
The Ministry of Education formed a panel in April to suggest the government for providing online education. No progress in the panel’s work has been reported ever since its establishment.
A report by Nepal Telecom Authority shows that over 72 percent Nepalis have access to the internet, however, most of them depend on mobile data with just 17 percent having access to fixed broadband.
But statistics on paper and ground reality are almost always contradicting. Many rural areas still do not have access to electricity, let alone internet.
Access to internet does not translate to internet literacy. Those (students, teachers and guardians) with access to internet might not understand how teaching-learning works remotely.
Moreover, accessing online classes through mobile internet is expensive, which not many can afford.
Therefore, with no way out in sight, the government has chosen to push youths’ education under the rug until there are cries for an emergency rescue.