General

In SLC results, public schools let taxpayers down

- Binod Ghimire, KATHMANDU

Jun 15, 2014-

The poor performance of public schools in School Leaving Certificate examinations continued this year despite huge investments from the state in school education.

The national education budget increased by more than 32 percent in a year but the success rate of public schools saw a meager one percent growth over the period. The pass rate for private schools was 93.26 percent while only 28.19 percent students from public schools managed to get through the test this year.

Private schools saw a 7.23 increment in pass rate on 86 percent last year while that for public schools was a negligible 1.19 percent on 27 percent.

According to the Office of the Controller of Examinations (OCE), three fourths of the 320,100 candidates from community schools failed the SLC exam. Save for the high achievement of private schools that have only one-third share in the total student number, the results overall would be even more frustrating.

The OCE data find Dhading the best performer in community schools this year while Rautahat district has the poorest performance.

Lacche Bahadur KC, president of Private and Boarding Schools' Organisation Nepal, said they have a better model of instruction. "The results prove the academic excellence of private schools," he said.

He asks the government to come up with a plan to build partnership between private and public schools to improve the results.

Educationists say investment alone will not bring about positive changes without holding teachers responsible. Speaking at an interaction in the Capital on Saturday, educationist Hridaya Ratna Bajracharya said there should be a concrete plan and strong mechanism in place to enhance teaching learning activities in order to have a better outcome.

The Ministry of Education invested Rs 800 billion in the education sector in the past 10 years, and only 13 percent of students who were enrolled in grade one a decade ago got through the SLC this year. As much as 87 percent of the investment has been wasted.

Of the total 1.3 million students who got enrolled in grade one in 2004, 528,559 took the exams and barely 188,027 completed their school education.

Mahasharm Sharma, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, agreed that the present system has been unyielding. He said the government was working to introduce a new policy for improving the sector.

"There is no hiding the fact that our output is far from satisfactory. The government is working on revamping the entire education system," said Sharma.

He added that it is not justifiable to compare the results of private and public schools given that there is Rs 7,000 annual investment per student in community schools while that is over Rs 40,000 in the private sector. Of the total education budget, 85 percent goes to schools.

Year         Edu budget     Pass percentage     pass percentage (community)

2014           Rs 82                             43.92                 28.19

2013           Rs 62                             41.57                 27

2012           Rs 63.91                        46.16                38

2011            Rs 57.65                        55                      47

Source: Ministry of Education & the OCE

Published: 15-06-2014 10:00

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