There are two education systems functioning in the country, one private, the other public. Majorly of the private schools exist in the urban areas whereas public schools are the norm in the rural areas.
A recent government source says that out of the 7.8 million school students, 3.3 million students are enrolled in private schools. In general, a private school is more expensive and not accessible to the general public, and there have been debates for and against it.
The success rate of either of the schools is measured by the results of the School Leaving Certificate (SLC). Last year’s results showed that the pass out rate of students in the public school is less than 20 per cent as compared to almost cent per cent in the private schools. This is a disappointing example of the existing education system.
The private schools claim that they are providing better and more competitive education than the public schools. On the other hand, the public schools claim that the private schools are into business and exploiting the parents in the name of quality education. They claim the public schools provide free or affordable education that is accessible to all, with no restriction for enrollment. Also that they hold good positions in the job market, especially in the public sector.
In terms of quality and management, the private schools pay low salaries to their teachers whereas the public schools have fixed salaries and perks set by the government. The private schools spend more time on extracurricular activities, in sharp contrast to the public schools that are more interested in merely completing their annual academic calendar.
In essence, the private schools are commercial ventures. They collect huge fees from the students. But the public schools provide free education to all under the government allocated budget.
Despite the ongoing debate on trying to bring uniformity in the education system, the number of private schools is increasing. There is a big ongoing debate about whether to encourage or discourage the private schools, and the parents are always in a dilemma at the beginning of every academic calendar in trying to find a good school for their wards.
Both the education systems have their pros and cons. It is time to think about reforming the whole education system of Nepal so as to either bring uniformity in the public and private education systems or to allow them to develop separately with a clear mandate.
Similarly, accessibility and competitiveness should be major components of any education system. The government has the duty to follow the spirit of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and its own commitment to provide education for all. To reflect this commitment in practice, it is only proper that a sizeable amount of the national budget is earmarked for education.
(Source: The Rising Nepal)