State-owned campuses fail to deliver quality education

Published On: May 25, 2017 12:10 AM NPT By: Bishnu Prasad Aryal

300 to 600 students are enrolled in a single class at Tri-Chandra Campus
KATHMANDU, May 25: Inside a big hall of Tri-Chandra Campus at the heart of the capital city, teachers and students were recently communicating but they could not hear each other's words. 

One of them was a teacher giving lecture using a microphone while the students of BSc first year could hardly hear what the teacher was talking about. Sashi Kumar Sharma, a part-time lecturer of zoology, asked the students on microphone if they could hear him. 

The students reacted but the sound was so feeble that the teacher could not listen to properly. In fact, neither the students nor the teacher could grasp what each other said.

 “We can only hear the sound but not understand the words exactly,” said Srishti Pokhrel, from Saptari district. “Only the students of first three rows can clearly listen to the teachers. We have to come to the class one hour earlier to sit in the front rows,” she added.

Not only Pokhrel but many other students from different parts of the country including Subodh Bhatta of Nepalgunj, Pooja Pathak of Dhading, Nitesh Chaudhari of Kaliya of Bara, Richa Pandey of Bhaktapur, Rajendra Nepal of Humla, Sandipta Khatri of Dolakha, Binit Timalsina of Kavre, Sudan Lamichhane and Jyoti Bhusal got admitted to Tri-Chandra Campus expecting to receive quality education at affordable cost from one of the oldest state-owned campuses. Each of the BSc students pays Rs 6,000 to 8,000 annually while private colleges charge Rs 50,000 to 80,000 for the same course.

About 1,350 zoology students are enrolled for BSc first year while more than 3,000 students are currently studying various BSc first year courses at Tri-Chandra Campus under the Tribhuvan University. They have a dream of becoming specialists in their respective fields but are worried about the learning environment of the science faculty. Only 24 percent of the BSc first year students passed the exam last year.

“I am from an ordinary family. I want to be a microbiologist,” said Pokhrel. Like her, Bhatta has his dream of becoming an environment expert. “We are not sure whether we will be able to scale the height or not because of the learning environment here,” they expressed their concerns. “The student unions come to ask us about our problems only during election but they keep mum all the time doing nothing.”

Meanwhile, teachers have not changed the teaching approach from the traditional method nor are there any proper infrastructures available in the campus to adopt comprehensive methods. The students complain that they were forced to cram notes to pass the exams.

“We need to have 1:20 teacher-student ratio for running interactive classes,” said Prof Dr Geeta Sharma Acharya, head of the Department of Zoology. “Tribhuvan University should adopt scientific and comprehensive method of teaching-learning process,” she added.

Each of the BSC first year classes is stuffed with 300 to 600 students at Tri-Chandra Campus. Owing to the government's negligence and mismanagement in the state-owned campuses, students are attracted to the private campuses.

This situation is prevalent in all of the 60 constituent campuses under the Tribhuvan University across the country.

Teacher Sashi Sharma said that they were following the old method for the last two decades. “It would be better if there was a 1:75 teacher-students ratio in a class,” he said. “Science class here is a goddamn chaos. We can't hear each other in course of teaching,” he added.

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