At a time when Nepal has been investing a huge amount of money in the education sector, the performance of students in their SLC Results-2069 has once again presented a bleak scenario of Nepal's education system. While over 547000 students appeared in the exams, only 41.57 percent of the students passed and a whopping 59 percent failed.
This is the lowest percentage results in the last five years. Last year, over 50 percent students had passed the SLC, and three years ago, the pass rate was almost 60 percent. The sudden decline in the pass percentage is worrisome.
Nepal's annual investment per student is over Rs. 10,000 in public and over Rs. 30,000 in private schools. According to sources, students who were unable to secure pass marks are mostly from government schools.
Although Nepal's civil society members and government officials and political leaders often question the private schools regarding their fee structures and education quality, the results showed that government schools performed poorly.
The results also indicated that the higher the investment, the better the results. Private schools are proving efficient because they invest more on teachers and parents who send their children in private schools also invest more on their children.
According to the results, community schools have also performed well. Only the government schools made a dismal performance. The government spends over 30 billion rupees annually in the education sector and more than two thirds of the budget goes to pay the salaries of the school teachers. It has also raised a question mark about the quality of government teachers.
Providing facilities to the teachers alone is not enough to improve the quality of education. Despite getting all kinds of benefits and facilities, the teachers in government schools failed to perform accordingly.
One of the reasons behind the poor performance in the government schools is over politicization of teachers. Although political parties and affiliated student unions are gradually entering the private schools, they are yet to damage the overall performance.
"Despite severe criticism from various sectors, private schools have proved that they have been imparting quality education to the people of Nepal. Although various organizations disturbed our schools from time to time, private schools have stayed focused on education," said Dr. Baburam Pokharel, chairman of PABSON and founder principle of VS Niketan College.
As the SLC results are now out, the time has come to think about how to improve the quality of education and pass percentage so that the huge investment made by the parents and state does not go waste.