ROLPA, Jan 13: The current academic year will end soon but students are yet to be taught more than half the course in most schools of Rolpa district. However, this is not the first time that such a situation has arisen. Every year, students in Rolpa are compelled to appear in the final exams without completing their course, showing the sorry state of the education system here.
Schools not only in the remote areas but also in the district headquarters face the same situation. Students now have just two more months before the final exams and it is almost impossible to complete their course. According to District Education Office (DEO), Rolpa, there are altogether 407 community schools in the district. Of them, 232 don't have government-paid teachers. Reportedly, 101 primary schools, 67 lower secondary schools and 64 secondary schools have no such teachers. The remaining schools, too, face shortage of teachers.
"The number of teachers is low by more than 60 percent. It's challenging to complete the course with such low numbers of teachers," said District Education Officer Kalpana Ghimire. Despite knowing that the course won't be completed on time, DEO has not taken any effort to find a solution to this problem yet. "We will hold a meeting with the chief of the local units very soon. We might also urge the teachers to take extra classes to complete the course on time," said Ghimire.
There are altogether 86,523 students in Rolpa. Last fiscal year, a community had collected a total amount of Rs.230 million for the salary of teachers. Though education is supposed to be free in the community schools, it actually isn't.
In the elections too, political parties prioritized roads, electricity, water, employment and various other things but education was sidelined in the election manifestoes. "There is no one who is willing to improve the situation of education in the district. This is also one of the major problems," added Ghimire. In fact, the officials at DEO are not even aware how much course has been covered in the schools.
Last year, students appeared in the final exams by studying only 50% of the course. Low number of teachers, obligation of parents to collect money for the salaries of teachers, temporary teachers, lack of proper leadership and political meddling have contributed to the poor education system in the district.
Last year, DEO had hired assisting teachers for one month in order to complete the course of students who were about to sit for SEE. Despite doing so, teachers were unable to complete the course. As result students appeared in SEE studying 50% of the course.