To meet the accelerating need of an educational degree by the numerous Nepalese youths, there has been a speedy increase in the number of colleges established throughout the country. In order to attract more students, the colleges are competing in terms of infrastructures, co-curricular activities, career opportunities and many more.
However, the promising commitments are not being able to meet the benchmark of quality education that is required to train the whole students as a skilled manpower in the global context. Still many colleges are proffering the core theoretical concepts rather than practical understanding which has raised the question on the qualitative education in Nepal.
Prof. Dr. Sushil Bhakta Mathema is principal of Nepal College of Management who is very active in the education sector. He is also the professor in Tribhuvan University. Glocal Khabar had a very captivating interview with him about the quality of education provided in Nepal. Here are some snippets:
Glocal Khabar: Since you have been in the educational sector for a very long time, please share us your definition of ‘Quality Education’. How effectively do you think are the Nepalese Colleges being able to offer it?
Prof. Mathema: Quality education means the process and content of providing education in more efficient, logical and reformed manner. It’s the basic essential for development where we produced a skilled workforce by creating an advance and feasible environment for the students to learn and grow. Quality education not only provides the power to change society but also helps to establish a proper decorum for economic and environmental progress.
When it comes to Nepalese colleges, I must say that we really have a good number of colleges established in the country. However, many of them are failing to offer quality education. The main reason behind this is the marketization. Nowadays, colleges are more concerned about the profits for the shareholders than the quality of education to the students. Government colleges are the prey of politicization whereas private colleges are of commercialization.
Glocal Khabar: What are the basic prerequisites to improve the quality of education in Nepal? Should the government always be targeted as the responsible body to bring the progress?
Prof. Mathema: Quality education is a two-way process. The level of expectations that we behold from the teachers and colleges should be same to the level of expectation we behold from the students. Teachers need to adjust their teaching methods as per the global context. In present, we can’t expect students to copy what’s written on the boards and excel.
Similarly, the learning pattern of the students also plays a vital role. Our students should be more participative and logical. We have so many resources available. So, students should use them to research and expand their knowledge themselves.
Talking about the government, yes I believe government need to update the syllabus as per the need of the country. It’s really sad to say that what I was teaching a decade ago, I am teaching the same content now as well. So how can we expect our country to develop? But solely targeting the government for everything is a bit unjustifiable.
Glocal Khabar: How far do you agree that the infrastructures of the colleges affect the quality of the education rendered?
Prof. Mathema: There is no doubt that we need appropriate infrastructures to attain the quality education. We can’t put many students in a small classroom. The teacher-student ratio will be highly affected that can disturb the interaction process. Similarly, we live in a world full of technology. So an advanced computer lab with internet facilities is a must to update our students.
Globally, education is not limited to mental knowledge but also physical strength. That’s why game courts are also equally important. But what matters the most is the usage. You can have the best infrastructures in the country but if you are unable to use them in the optimum level, then we will compromise with the quality education.
Glocal Khabar: In the current scenario, we have many youths having degrees but no jobs. Can we inculpate the failure of our education system behind this issue?
Prof. Mathema: In my perception, both colleges and the students are responsible for it. Today, the market is full of competitions. Every organization is seeking for an upgraded and advance candidate who can progress despite the competitive scenarios. Companies are looking for the real-life traits and analytical power in the employees rather than the memorized formulas. Here is where we all are failing.
On the one hand, our colleges are failing to put value in our students because they are more concern about the pass rate. They are training the students hypothetically, believing that all students are same. As a result, students are working to better every possible skill rather than perfecting their core competency.
On the other hand, our students are too dependent on the teachers. They build a misconception that what is written in the book is enough to sustain the life. Our education system has polished the student’s mindset in such a way that they think, once you earn the degree, the equivalent job is no wayfarer.
This has created a flock of job seekers than the job creators. So, I think every people inhabiting in the Nepalese education system are responsible for the unemployment problem.
Glocal Khabar: Your final remarks on this discussion would be?
Prof. Mathema: I think collaboration is the solution for every issue. So, the government, teachers, students or parents themselves and all the stakeholders should be equally abide by their duty to achieve a better educational development in the country. Let our educational system be less affected by the external surroundings and practical learning is what I want to emphasize more on.
By: Ruby Shah