On the growing trend of sending Nepalese students abroad for higher education, Er. Dilip Kumar Jha, echoing the sentiments of concerned educators and citizens, raises pertinent questions about the efficacy and consequences of this educational trajectory. He emphasized the need to delve beyond the surface allure of foreign education and critically examine its impact on individuals and society at large.
In recent times, the trend of sending 12th-grade students abroad for higher education has gained significant traction among Nepalese families. The allure of foreign education, perceived better prospects, and exposure to different cultures have prompted many to undertake this journey. However, it's imperative to take a comprehensive look at the outcomes and implications of this phenomenon.
Academic Pursuits and Challenges
Students often opt for this path with the support of loans, sometimes as high as 5 million Nepalese rupees, to fund their education overseas. The question arises: how many of these students successfully complete their graduation? How many return to Nepal after completing their studies, and how many remain abroad? It's a complex journey, marked by academic challenges and personal growth.
Success and Challenges in Returning Home
For those who return, the reintegration into the Nepalese job market can be daunting. The promise of overseas education is often accompanied by the hope of securing employment back home. How many of these returnees find suitable employment, and how many become self-employed? The state's role in facilitating their reintegration and providing assistance in such situations becomes a significant point of consideration.
Lack of Data and State Support
A prevailing issue is the lack of comprehensive statistics regarding Nepalese students abroad. It's crucial to know how many students are in different countries and to have an understanding of their living conditions and challenges. Furthermore, the role of Nepalese ambassadors and the government in assisting students facing difficulties abroad needs clarification.
Foreign Education vs. Local Institutions
Critics often question the pursuit of foreign education when Nepal boasts quality medical and engineering programs at the graduate level. While these local institutions excel academically, they often struggle with adhering to a consistent academic calendar. Rather than solely criticizing local universities, it's vital to consider whether we are utilizing their potential effectively.
The Dream of a Hub for Educational Tourism
Given the success of countries like Australia in leveraging foreign students as a substantial source of income, the question arises as to why Nepal hasn't positioned itself as a hub for educational tourism. This could potentially benefit the nation's economy and academic institutions.
Making Informed Choices
The decision to study abroad should be taken with careful consideration. The challenges of balancing studies and work, especially for bachelor's students without scholarships, can be overwhelming. The value of such an endeavor is more pronounced for those pursuing master's or PhD degrees, potentially with job prospects in mind.
The Struggles of Pursuing Opportunities Abroad
Working abroad is not an easy endeavor. As individuals strive to earn a livelihood, numerous factors come into play, including academic challenges and the struggle to maintain a balance between studies and work. Those who can't find stability or complete their studies while abroad often find themselves in difficult circumstances, sometimes even worse than what they faced in Nepal.
A Plea for Responsible Choices
In the midst of this trend, the essence of education and family values shouldn't be lost. A competition to send children abroad for education at the cost of their well-being and future prospects can have long-term consequences for both individuals and the nation. The decision should be driven by the desire for holistic development and genuine opportunities, not solely for status or external validation.
In conclusion, Er. Dilip Kumar Jha's candid reflections underscore the complexity of sending Nepalese students abroad for higher education. While the allure of foreign education is undeniable, it's essential to consider the challenges, outcomes, and long-term impacts on both individuals and the nation. Responsible decision-making, thorough research, and a holistic understanding of the journey are crucial elements that should guide such pursuits.
- Er. Dilip Kumar Jha, Principal, Hillside College of Engineering