Poor academia in Nepal

2014-04-05

Republica National Daily

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Our country is not known for its academia. We classify the intelligence of students based on their results of examinations. Many of us still think that the Distinction holders in SLC need to opt for science in higher school.

Parents are also found pushing their children for MBBS and engineering, without being aware of their children’s real caliber and being guided by the conventional thinking that it is mandatory for examination toppers or high scorers to study science.

No one should deny the significance of good academia. Good academia checks the outflow of intelligent minds to foreign universities and help in the upliftment of the status of our own economy and society at large.

During the early 1970s, the USA was plagued by severe stagflation, an economic jargon for inflation and unemployment.In the midst of this crisis, two geniuses, Bill Gates of Harvard (dropout) and Steve Jobs of Reed College (discontinued) founded Microsoft and Apple.These events were instrumental in the progress which the US made in the latter decades, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s.

This is the power of good academia. Even today, when many pundits doubt the dominance of the States, some still hope the nation would retain its leading position in global economics and politics because of the rigorous research and development its universities are capable of carrying out.I think we can also rise above this level if we have great research institutions in our country.

The Distinction marks in SLC are not so hard to come by these days in comparison to, say, a few years back. Private schools especially have records for creating maximum numbers of top scorers in exams. It is good and commendable if sincere and genuine students achieve these numbers.

Unfortunately, this is not the case in recent years as fake students backed up by the lenient examination condition have spoiled the charm of the SLC.In fact, examinations are not good grounds for gauging the academic talents of students. Firstly, a student is not just the way which he or she presents their best in a few hours of examination.

As said before, very deserving candidates might not be able to present the way he or she would have liked. Besides, in our country’s case, many questions are prepared ones well in advance and leakages have become common.

Students’ ability needs to be measured by encompassing many different criteria, such as attitude, sincerity, interest in the subject, presentation during school and college and maybe examinations at last.

As more questions have been raised about the authenticity of exams, educational institutions in Europe and America are gradually changing the method of assessing students’ potential.

One reason why we are chronically ranked at the bottom in terms of development is our unskilled labor force. Lax academic environment has been the deterrent factor for improvement of human capital in this country.

Therefore, the creation of institutions which would encourage research-based study is essential instead of forcing students to mugging up information.

If there are colleges and universities that can satiate the hunger of students, the brain drain that is taking place in huge numbers can be checked. In addition, the few students from Nepal who make it through the best colleges of the world every year will find a haven in their own nation.

Besides, the improvement in academia of our country would also involve the efforts from students. They should not study for the sake of scoring top grades in examinations.

More of research-based study at all levels of studies, and not making academic choices based on results but on genuine caliber, can help us improve our academic world substantially. After all, we are not just the numbers or the results exhibited on our resume.

(The writer has completed his A-Level)

(Source: Republica National Daily: Published on November 29)