Elisa Ghimire, a fresh School Leaving Certificate (SLC) graduate, is in great confusion to choose a Plus Two college to pursue her further studies.
She came to Kathmandu all the way from Lamjung in west Nepal for higher studies but she has found herself in difficulty to decide because she feels just overwhelmed by college advertisements.
"At first I was in dilemma to choose the faculty. Now it’s very hard to select from the vast menu of colleges," said Ghimire.
Ghimire is among tens of thousands of SLC graduates aspiring to pursue higher studies and lost in the crowd of colleges. What confuses one most is the promotion campaign the colleges have unleashed, that often exaggerate promises.
After the phase out of the Proficiency Certificate Level from government colleges, students have no option to Plus Two colleges.
Many colleges have been making tall claims of their physical facilities such as high rise buildings equipped with lifts, air conditioned rooms, swimming pools, sports ground, labs and vehicles. They try to exploit image of prominent personalities who are portrayed as their patron, founder, advisor etc.
Education expert Bidhya Nath Koirala said that it is not ethical for educational institutions to use topper and presentable students as their ad models.
It is due to negligence of concerned authorities that anomalies are increasing in the education sector, said Koirala. What kind of cultures they are promoting should be taken into account when granting them affiliations, he said.
Koirala said that HSEB has been granting affiliations to colleges to suit the interests of the latter rather than local needs. Therefore, the education sector is polluted with unhealthy competition.
Higher Secondary Education Board blacklisted 71 colleges last year for violating rules and norms. However, many of them have announced the opening of admissions this year.
If these colleges are found to have enrolled students by ignoring HSEB action, the concerned students may not be allowed to sit in the HSEB exams.
Devi Prasad Barakoti, Affiliation Department Chief of the HSEB said if HSEB monitors and takes actions against violating colleges on the basis of public complaints.
Meanwhile, the HSEB has decided to give three percent scholarship only to community school students from this year. This decision aims to discourage misuse of scholarships.
Last year, 311,000 students were enrolled in 3,067 Plus Two colleges across the country. Out of them, 3,87 colleges are in the Kathmandu Valley.