Failed students mostly from poorer families
KATHMANDU, June 14: The sharp decline in the SLC Board exam results for public schools has continued with the reduction in the pass rate by eight percent within three years.
The pass rate for public schools has been recorded at just 28.19 percent this year, which means that 72 percent of the examinees from such schools flunked the exam. Some 36 percent of students from public schools had passed the SLC in 2012.
At the same time, the pass rates for private schools are climbing every year and reached 93.12 percent this year, the highest so far.
Among the SLC examinees who appeared in last year´s exams, 78 percent were from public schools, whereas only 24 percent were from schools in the private sector. However, the exam outcome was just the reverse, with an 80 percent pass rate for private schools and 30 percent for public schools.
This emerging trend becomes worrisome when one compares the numbers of examinees appearing from public and private institutions. Less than 30 percent of the total number of examinees appeared from private schools, according to Private and Boarding Schools Organization, Nepal (PABSON) Chairperson Lakshya Bahadur KC.
While private schools bask in glory when the SLC results come out, the failed students belong mostly to families which cannot afford to send their children to private schools, according to educationists.
The SLC result trends of the last few years reflect the despair of a society where quality education is increasingly beyond the reach of the economically marginalized, says educationist Mana Prasad Wagle.
“Had the government felt more accountable towards the needy, it would have done something to upgrade the public schools long ago,” he said.
Another educationist, Bishnu Karki, says that the decade-long armed conflict is equally responsible for the poor showing of public schools in the SLC. The background of students and how they spend their childhood always have a bearing on how they perform in future, he argues.
“The SLC examinees of the last couple of years are from the generation that reached school-going age when the Maoist insurgency was at its peak,” says Karki. “The violence, the displacement of people and the uncertainty of the time impacted on the children and this is reflects in their disinterest and lack of concentration in studies.”
With the lack of good teachers and lack of some subject-teachers altogether behind the degeneration of public schools, even parents who are poor are now shifting their children to private institutions. This has resulted in zero enrollment in hundreds of public schools across the country in recent years.
A cost estimate made by the Guardians Association of Nepal shows that the investment in students at private schools is normally 10 times higher than that for public school students. Valley private schools are 10 times costlier than public schools. The combined expenditure by the government and guardians on the education of one student through grades 1 to 10 at a public school is estimated at around Rs 100,000.
In contrast, anywhere between Rs 360,000 to Rs 1,000,000 has to be spent on a student going through the same grades in a private institution, the estimate shows. Most private schools in the Valley charge Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500 per month, whereas the high-profile schools charge up to Rs 20,000 or more.
Under the circumstances, an immediate review of education policy to make it student-focused rather than teacher-focused as at present is urgently needed, says Wagle, talking about investments by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
“MoE spends most of its budget on teachers who are not up to the mark,” he added.
Three girls commit suicide
Kathmandu- Shocked by news of their failure in the SLC exam results published on Friday, three teenagers have committed suicide.
Sixteen-year-old Basanti Ghimire of Baglung district was found hanging at her residence on Friday evening following news of her failure in the SLC. The girl had appeared in the exam under the regular category, from Khar Secondary School of Gwalichaur VDC, according to police.
The SLC results brought grief in Rukum also, with the sucide of two girls following their failure in the SLC. Fifteen-year-olds Rakshya Thapa and Ganga Thapa hanged themselves on Saturday after the results came out Saturday.
Source- Republica Daily
28.19 pc pass SLC in public schools, 93.12 pc in private