Ministry of Education Nepal plan to harmonise academic calendars

2014-04-05

Kokila KC

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The Ministry of Education plans to harmonise the academic calendars of the country’s universities. The idea is to make the transfer of students from one varsity to another less time-consuming, allay confusion surrounding the entire process and do away with the practice of conducting scholarship exam for medicine and other studies twice a year — once for students of the Tribhuvan University (TU) and again for Kathmandu University (KU) students.

MoE joint-secretary Ram Krishna Subedi said the ministry plans to harmonise the academic calendars from the next year.

TU conducts scholarship exams for medicine and other studies in August, taking into account the university’s graduate level academic session that begins in September-October. For KU’s graduate programmes that begin in January-February, the varsity conducts scholarship exams in December-January. 

Subedi said the ministry will hold extensive talks with stakeholders, including TU, KU, Higher Secondary Education Board, the Office of the Controller of Examinations, Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training and student unions, next week to discuss the pros and cons of harmonising academic calendars in various levels.

It will be a historical achievement if we can harmonise academic calendars from schools to universities, he added.

This year, Plus Two students have failed to meet the deadline for MoE scholarships opened on June 15 for students in various streams, including MBBS, Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor in Public Health and Bachelor in Pharmacy. The deadline for form submission was July 22, but the HSEB published the result of Plus Two Science faculty on the same day, depriving the graduates of a chance to sit for the exam. This elicited protests from the Nepali Congress-aligned Nepal Student Union, which demanded that the students concerned be allowed to sit for the TU scholarship exam. In view of the demand, the education ministry yesterday decided to begin the scholarship selection process from mid-September this year.

Prakash Maharjan, officer at the MoE Scholarship Department, says they have no option but to take scholarship exam for a programme twice a year because academic calendars do not match. 

Conducting the same exam twice a year causes financial losses to MoE and time loss for students, Maharjan concedes, adding that uniformity in academic calendars is a must.

Of the total MoE scholarship quotas, 33 per cent is for women students, 27 per cent for students from indigenous nationalities, 25 per cent for socially and financially backward students, nine per cent for students from the Dalit community, four per cent for students from remote areas and two per cent for students with physical disabilities.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)