In lack of textbooks, college students rely on online resources

Published On: September 5, 2019 09:11 AM NPT By: Dinesh Subedi

ROLPA, Sept 5: Jaljala Multiple Campus of Rolpa is teaching students without textbooks as the university to which it is affiliated has not prepared them. The campus switched its affiliation to Mid-western University (MU) from Tribhuvan University (TU) at the start of this academic session. 

In the lack of textbooks, teachers and students have been managing teaching and learning resources from their mobile phones.  “It’s a very odd situation. We don’t have textbooks,” said the Chief of the campus, Bishnu Acharya. “Teachers are teaching with the help of resources on their mobile phones. It becomes very much challenging in case the internet does not work,” he added.

There over 300 students in the campus. They are told to download references whenever they can manage it. But this has left them confused and less interactive in the classroom.

“We feel so strange that we are reading without books in our hand. This is not something we are used to,” said a graduate-level student requesting anonymity. “The college did not do any homework before switching its affiliation to the other university. Because of this thoughtlessness, we are presently facing innumerable problems,” he added. Students lamented that they need textbooks in hands to pass examinations but ‘it is unlikely that the campus would be able to avail it anytime soon.’

Campus chief Acharya admits that students have been hard hit without books and added that the campus has been making efforts to address the problem. “It is the students who have to get through the examinations. So, they need to be crystal clear about what they are studying. On the other hand, teachers have years of experience, and they can easily understand the lessons even if they are dealing with entirely new texts. So, it is indeed more difficult for students to keep pace with the course without books,” he elaborated.

Acharya said that the college was not aware that MU was yet to prepare textbooks when the college made the move. “We learnt late that MU has not prepared textbooks based on its curriculum. That’s really sad. We had sought affiliation with MU considering the comfort we would have in handling management activities,” he stated.

Bageshwori Multiple Campus of Kohalpur, which is also affiliated to the same university, is also facing the same problem. Students here are equally upset. “The texts are being prepared, hopefully, they will come soon,” said the campus’ Chief Shishir Kumar. “Till the time they are published we have to manage from notes or internet resources,” he added. The semester system has increased students’ attendance in campuses and collages these days. And it is the same in Rolpa as well. But students complain that the overall system of education has not been improved. 

According to Khim Bahadur Khadka, an assistant professor at Bageshwori Multiple Campus, the university has provided curriculum contents to teachers. On the basis of the given content, teachers have been preparing guidelines for students. 

“University officials have only provided course guidelines to us and have asked to do the rest,” he said. “But it’s easier said than done,” he added.  He also reiterated that the lack of textbooks has made it very tough for students. Students feel lost without books, he noted. “Along with textbooks they are supposed to have reference books. That would add to their academic knowledge. But here, they are not getting even the textbooks,” he said adding that the problem should be solved soon. 

Registrar at the university Yam Bahadur Karki, however, does not find this to be a serious issue. According to him, books are important and are carried by students only at the lower level classes. “If they were children, they would have all the course books in the bag.

But in the higher level, teachers provide notes and the students are supposed to study them,” he asserted.  “Isn’t it the same even in TU? What we do is, we prepare the curriculum, leave the rest to teachers and students to coordinate and learn.”  Well to do families in Rolpa often send their children to Kathmandu or other cities for higher education. Those who enroll in the local campuses are generally from a decent background. 

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