The Glimpse of What Went Wrong with the SEE Result

Bharat Chand

Scrolling through the social media, one is sure to come across the reels relating on social activities among others as the most highlighted reels as the people do vent out their dissatisfactions using social media as the source of medium. The public of Nepal historically devoid of using the public platform to speak against any social ills or wrong doingsone had witnessed during Rana regime and Panchayat system, is now seen vibrantat making comments on any issues ranging from personal to public concerns. The result of SEE published lately has become the issue for social media users to speak about what went wrong as the large chunks of studentswith 52.14 percent failed and are unable to join in grade eleven due to the introduction of Non-Graded System introduced by the government of Nepal.
One of the boys who had appeared in the SEE examination from Baitadi district told me on phone that the school he pursued his studies did not have the availability of Science and Mathematics teacher for almost ten months. The school, I firmly believe, has hammered the dreams and aspirations of the students by failing to manage the subject teachers on time, resulting the null percent of students to cross the iron gate. What on earth, especially the District Education Office, Baitadi, the sole body to monitor the schools within its area of concern did throughout the year! Did it not have the knowledge that the schools in its area have teachers to instruct the students? And, why did the management committee of the school not become serious to manage the teachers on time from the private resources too? This is a sheer and grave error not a mistake to play with the dreams of the students.This also marks how the local bodies despite having the accumulation of huge amount of money in their parts, have failed at managing the human resources through local level. The telephonic conversation I had with this boy also revealed the fact local representatives had a quarrel with respect to the selection of the candidates available at local level as the power sharing among them faltered the chance of having the teachers and divided them extensively, narrowing the chance of students to study through local candidates. This sort of unethical practice further has quashed the dreams of hundreds of students pursuing their studies and kept their entire academics in jeopardy.
The Non-Graded System practiced has assisted in failing large number of students as the system requires at least 35 percent in theory to be obtained out of 75 full marks by the student. The securing of 35 percent, for many, wherever they pursued their studies either in government or private schools proved to be quite complicated. The students at government school largely failed in English subject while the students at private schools on Social Studies. The students at private schools who appeared in SEE held in 2080 were the first batch taking the test of Social Studies in Nepali language, the language they are forbidden to use even at their conversation too. Moreover, Nepali language tarnished as the language of less privileged communities among the elites and their off springs studying at boarding schools has hugely stood as a big barrier for them not only to write in Nepali language but also to build the concept taught in Nepali medium as well. The mentality of the parents towards Nepali language at home equally is a guiding factor whether students do well in the subjects instructed in Nepali and Social Studies. Some students, to my observation, with good track record of doing well in English medium dramatically fell to null after the subject was decided to be instructed in Nepali language by the government of Nepal.
The intellectual interactions taking strong hold in city areas are the centers of grasping the views expressed by the experts on the subjects they are reckoned with. Dr. Kedar Bhakta Mathema, who had once been the Dean of Tribhuvan University and an ambassador to Japan had made a remarkable statement about the Social Studies as the subject. What he highlighted in the talk program was that he was astonished to see the Social Studies taught in English medium was a sheer mistake. The subject that unveils the information about the cultures, traditions, festivals and jatras and many more aspects of life needs to be instructed in Nepali language, thereby making people understand the true nature of culture and tradition they practice. Prominent experts from Dr. Man Prashad Wagle to Dr. Bidyanath Koirala stress the fact that classroom teaching plus the lack of competent teachers has been the barrier to accelerate the pace of knowledge and build the concept about the subject being instructed.
The nature of the course we have primarily focused in our textbook of Social Studies prescribed by Curriculum Development Center is another reason behind failing in Social Studies as well. The course designed though has tried to include many topics with the hope of imparting knowledge of every field to the children but lacks comprising new chapters that are of prime concern to the students seeking to know newer aspects of society. The subject matters relating to the society yet to be known by students can have their space in the textbook for enticing their interest as well as making them feel invigorated on the subject. Instead of repeating the same chapter in either grades, new chapters with their historical and cultural affiliation would attract the attention of the students in the subject. The cultural practices of Kathmandu Valley for instance Pachali Bhairav Jatra, the magnanimous avatar of Bhairav along with the typical cultural aspects prevailing outside of Kathmandu valley for instance GauraParva of Sudur Paschim Pradesh could help students strengthen their curiosity in the subject, thereby forming the values we want to inculcate in them through teaching Social Studies.
The result we have now at hand though depicts the reality of our educational standard we have been able to set up but needs to be reformed, allowing the practical based teaching so that students can understand the topic not just to pass out the examinations but to practice it in their whole life as a lesson to overcome the barrier in life as well. The experts, stakeholders along with the presence of people representing various communities, I believe, should unite together to have an intensive discussion over the topics to be included and make the subject as far as practicable for the children pursuing their studies.

(Bharat Chand is a passionate researcher in the field of Social Science. He can be reached through 9851173960.)