KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 30
National Examinations Board has started preparation to conduct the examination of Grade X, also called Secondary Education Examination, of the current academic year from mid-May.
The NEB, for the purpose, has also asked all the schools in the country to register the names of Grade X students.
While the examination authorities have started preparation for the final exam, it has largely overlooked the fact that schools have remained shut for around nine months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and students have not been able to study like in the previous year.
The government, on March 18, had banned all kinds of academic activities in schools and colleges owing to increasing risk of COVID-19. It also put a stop to training, seminars and other kinds of educational practices that demand mass gatherings.
A few days later, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown, halting people’s movement for at least six months. Since then no school has operated fully, while very few private schools in urban areas conducted classes online.
The effectiveness of such classes has also been questioned as schools were found teaching mostly science, mathematics and social studies in the online classes.
The NEB, however, said that if they could hold the examination of Grade X from mid-May, the academic year would continue and schools would be encouraged to run classes of at least Grade X at the earliest.
NEB Chairman Chandra Mani Poudel said, “We can’t risk losing one whole academic year as schools now have plenty of time (at least four months) to prepare students for the examination.”
He added that schools could conduct extra classes or operate classes during off-days to complete the academic course, so that the academic year would not be lost. However, NEB seemed unconcerned about the still increasing cases of coronavirus. The NEB has decided to hold the examination at any cost after it received flak for not holding the examination of Grade X.
The government, on June 10, had decided to cancel the previous SEE and issue certificates based on internal evaluation conducted by the respective schools. Following that, 9,019 students had acquired the highest GPA, 4.0.
Last year, only 106 students had acquired 4.0 GPA, while two years ago, the number of students acquiring 4.0 GPA was 74. This had drawn criticism from guardians and educationists since most of the private schools had manipulated the results of students, while scores of public schools had remained mostly similar.
Educationist Bidhya Nath Koirala criticised the NEB’s decision saying it should give authority to the respective schools to hold the examination of Grade X. “The NEB should not be so keen to hold the examination as our education law had envisioned that education till Grade XII was school education. Thus, NEB should be allowed to hold examination of only Grade XII and schools should be allowed to hold examination until Grade X.”