After SEE, what next?

Published On: July 7, 2024 10:25 AM NPT By: Dr Atindra Dahal

The results of the SEE (Secondary Education Examination), often referred to as the iron gate, have been published recently. Although the letter-grading system has been adopted for some years, not all examinees have succeeded. The published results paint a bleak picture and dismal scenario. This year, only about 48 percent of the students received grades that allow them to pursue higher education. It is often said that the SLC exam was conducted twice in 2007 BS due to the unusual political situation, and all examinees were declared to have passed in the first division. Since then, many students have failed this exam, and 2080 was no exception. This disturbing and damaging trend demands a critical and considerate effort by the state mechanism to address this helpless situation. On the other hand, SEE graduates are in a dilemma about which subject to study or not to study, based on the results obtained. The confirmation of the right choice for further higher education often places all pupils into a pool of profound confusion. This perplexity is no exception for this year’s graduates as well.

Perplexity Ahead!

Even after qualifying from this popularly known ‘Iron Gate,’ a heart-rending bitter reality looms large that many graduates face severe failure in higher education. Records reveal that only 40% accomplish higher secondary levels and very few proceed to university degree. Despite rigorous discussions on accomplishing SEE, we have often missed the orientation needed to make the post-SEE academic journey meaningful and worthy. How sad it is.

Often, students are less logical in choosing post-SEE studies. Students with better grades have a blind fascination with Science. Other streams are preposterously considered for middle or lower grade holders. We have a flawed assumption that brilliant students must necessarily pursue Science. It goes further as medium grade-holders are directed to Management or Law, followed by Humanities or Education for below-average scorers. Topper students too often share these views, and educationists join the chorus. As an exception, the board-topper of 2050, Miss Garima Rana, pursued Law. Bibek Adhikary, board topper in 2066, pursued Science despite having a profound interest in Literature, which he later studied in his Master’s degree. It was a rudimentary compulsion, as he still encapsulates. Projected toppers of this year have also expressed aspirations to pursue Science in the media. Even colleges misadvise that toppers must prioritize Science.

In American and European countries, more than 60% of merited students enroll in Management streams. Australia experiences a similar trend in Fashion Designing. Leading Asian countries, along with others globally, equally pursue Humanities as a powerful foundation of all branches of human knowledge. Tourism attracts talented minds in Africa. IT is similarly mastered everywhere. But we are guiding our top minds into areas where we cannot expect significant development soon. Disciplines such as trade, tourism, education, literature, and various other industries, for which we have abundant potential, are only stocked with middle-class students. Brain drain and the foreign exodus of top students stem from this factual error too.

Referring to the ill-judgment and misadvising, students largely fail to choose the most suitable discipline. Their true passion and psychological nature are undermined or sidelined. Many students have minimal information about the prospects of various streams. Conventional assumptions like ‘Science facilitates becoming a doctor or engineer, Management eases the path to becoming a manager or corporation head, Humanities is for those aiming for the public service commission, and Education is only for becoming a teacher’ are flawed.

Nonetheless, every discipline has countless splendid opportunities. The Career Counselor’s Handbook by Howard E. Figler and Career Match by Shoya Zichy and Ann Bidou are valuable self-help tools. If students are aware of the maximum possibilities, the ease of making a better choice increases. Everyone is unique and different. No studies are for nothing, and each aspires to achieve professional success post-studies. However, many students do not have a solid aim for the future, and others are not clear on how the chosen stream assists them.

Students often choose courses based on parental referral, media influence, the physical amenities of visited colleges, comparative analysis of fees, probable scholarships, and peer pressure, rather than their own lifetime goals and projected future careers. They are influenced by amenities like swimming pools and lifts over more relevant facilities like libraries or laboratories. Such wrong references should now be discouraged.

Now, Do This !

In fact, no discipline is inherently better or worse. Every stream can lead to professional success if pursued with effort. Numerous examples validate that a teacher and a doctor, or a businessman and a professional, can be equally successful and esteemed in society. Scientists in NAST with Science background, successful entrepreneurs or bankers with Management background, respected professors, prestigious literary icons, and renowned journalists from various fields all hold equal esteem in society.

Rather than categorizing any stream as good or bad, the approach to pursuing it matters more. Nonetheless, students may be psychologically and naturally more suited to one discipline over others. A student good in mathematics may excel in Science, while one proficient in language may thrive in Humanities. John Holland’s psychological division of people is crucial to understanding this. 3D tests and personality tests can be effective methods to determine this suitability. These tests explore students’ nature and help match them with appropriate academic paths. Psychological tests, skill tests, aptitude and attitude tests, and recently developed parametric pragmatic tests can additionally guide students toward their deserving fields. ‘Choose a Career and Discover Your Perfect Job’ by Vurnum and Merlevede, and ‘Career Counseling: A Holistic Approach’ by Vernon Zunker are instrumental guides in this regard.

Thus, students should list the best possible career options they can achieve from their pursued course. They should fix the ideal profession they aspire to grow into in the future. They ought to prioritize the best discipline by matching their nature, possible career choice, and capability. It is beneficial to set up a role model in the profession they long to pursue. Selecting a stream should not be for parents, friends, or others but should align with one's own aims, vision, future career, and life passion. Seniors should orient and guide them accordingly rather than suggesting any one fixed course.

Dear SEE graduates, kindly act deliberately before you decide; a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. Be careful, as a good start is half the battle. Ensure it, so there won’t be any academic accidents ahead! Good luck!

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