Govt advised to grant study loan

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Jul 1, 2015-

A high-level committee led by former Tribhuvan University’s vice-chancellor, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, has recommended the government to introduce a provision of granting loan to the students who are on the merit list of MBBS entrance exams but cannot afford to pay for their tuition.

The Health Profession Education Policy submitted by the committee to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala proposes the government to offer study loan without collateral to those promising students who come from poor background. The committee members have said that the provision could be implemented once the government has formed the body to conduct central medical exams.

“Once the provision is implemented, good students need not have to worry about the money to study medicine,” a committee member said. “The students who have taken study loan will receive their doctor’s certificate only after they have cleared their debt,”

  Among its many recommendations, the committee has also proposed forming a national accreditation board to oversee the MBBS entrance test to ensure uniformity and fairness. The report states that each student who wants to study MBBS programme should pass the entrance test conducted by the central board to get admission in medical colleges.

 Many other committees in the past had also recommended one exam board for medical studies, arguing that separate entrance tests conducted by different universities and medical institutions were causing unwanted pressure on students and promoting unhealthy competition among medical schools. The committee has also recommended merit-based admission in which students scoring more would get preference over those who have scored less in the entrance test. For instance, a  student who is in the 61st number of the merit list would get enrolment only after a student in the 60th number has been admitted.  

The committee has also recommended the ceiling of Rs 3.5 million to study five-and-a-half-year MBBS course.

Public schools asked to prepare plan for improvement

In a bid to increase pass rate of students in School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinations, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has sought detailed work plans from all poor performing public schools to improve their results in future.

The ministry directed all its subordinate bodies, including District Education Offices and Regional Directorates, to ensure that such schools furnish the plan within 45 days. Issuing a public notice, the Ministry has asked the Department of Education (DoE) to collect data on schools with poor SLC results and take action against teachers as per Education Regulations 2002. Under the regulation, headmasters and subject teachers of the poor performing schools can be barred from receiving grades and even be demoted. Likewise, the ministry has also asked DoE to formulate a plan to bring visible improvement in the performance of students. Two years ago, the ministry had formulated a charter which envisioned increasing the pass rate by double digit within a year. However, the charter has not led to any improvement.

According to Office of the Controller of Examinations, despite huge investment, the pass percentage of students from public schools stood just 33 percent in the SLC this year while it was over 89 percent for the private schools.

This year no student from 203 public schools passed the SLC examinations. (PR)

Published: 02-07-2015 07:50

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