My Republica

Shyam Sharma

The author teaches writing and rhetoric at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. He can be reached at

Expertise Cycle

Published On: July 26, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

To truly improve teaching, it is time to take the expert out of training, center professional development back in the classroom, and unleash the power of the practitioner-as-expert–letting such a cycle of expertise replace traditional teacher training.

Educating Beyond the Bots

Published On: February 12, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

The current discourse about artificial intelligence not only reflects a narrow view of education. It also represents romanticization of, or alarmism about, new technologies, while insulting students as dishonest by default.

Bridges and Barriers

Published On: May 15, 2022 06:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

All languages must be used for advancing and using new knowledge for social good. And scholars should strive to build bridges instead of barriers with languages.

TU is Well

Published On: February 11, 2022 06:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Nepalese academia, including Tribhuvan University, has challenges, but we must tell the full story, including what it is doing well.

Magic tools and research integrity

Published On: March 23, 2021 09:00 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Plagiarism is a manifestation of a deeper problem in academia: Of publishing for the sake of publishing, and of rewarding it regardless.

Unteaching tyranny

Published On: July 7, 2020 05:30 PM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

When a fellow professor in a teacher training program said last month that he takes attendance twice during class since going online, I was surprised by the tyrannical idea. What if a student lost internet connection or electricity, ran out of data or was sharing a device, had family obligations or a health problem? We’re not just “going online,” we’re also going through a horrifying global pandemic!

Languaging Research

Published On: March 15, 2020 09:52 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

“English is . . . the language of higher education, mass media, information and communication technology, business, tourism, science and medicine,” says the introduction to the recently published English language curriculum for 11th and 12th grades. Built upon this combination of half truths, ignorance, and ideologies, there is another pervasive belief that English is also the language of scientific publication, if not all significant knowledge production in the world. This essay seeks to debunk the latter assumption, going on to discuss the social costs of passively accepting while actively contributing to the conditions behind the assumption, as scholars in developing countries like Nepal are doing increasingly.

How do we measure knowledge?

Published On: December 5, 2019 12:46 PM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

“If you only need good grades and not the learning,” I tell my students, joking, “don’t bother using the library, learning how to use academic databases, finding and reading complex scholarly articles, and representing others’ ideas substantively and carefully in your writing.” “Just hire a good ghost writer or find another effective way to cheat me.” Students get the point quickly, and they start doing serious research and writing.

Rethinking research

Published On: September 22, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

We must make research a number-one social mission of higher education, make funding for public universities contingent on research productivity and revamp faculty evaluation and promotion to advance research

Localizing knowledge production

Published On: July 25, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Universities in developing countries must create new knowledge as their primary mission, especially for social progress and in the national interest

Multilingual Tuesdays

Published On: February 21, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Whether they start a Multilingual Tuesday program or one called Matribhasha Mangalbar, it is high time that private schools advanced multilingual competence among their students

Abolish private education?

Published On: January 2, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

To truly counter arguments about abolishing it, private sector education must rethink its socioeconomic roles in the new national context, creating robust models of faculty development

Making education three-dimensional

Published On: October 23, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Higher education must be a three-dimensional deal, one that includes acquiring knowledge, developing skills for the workplace, and having meaningful experiences to shape learners for a lifetime

Expats and experts

Published On: September 11, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Diaspora scholars shouldn’t use criticism as a default position in scholarly conversations, especially if the larger objective is to develop better understanding of issues

Normalizing research

Published On: July 3, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

We must begin to value research as normal and necessary for teaching and learning, academic and professional success, social and economic progress

Producing professionals

Published On: May 30, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Higher education cannot be just teaching, especially just transfer of knowledge. It must foster disciplinary identity and professional development

Redesigning our universities

Published On: April 26, 2018 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Teachers and students and the public alike will be thirstier for new knowledge if university education is defined as and designed for putting research first

Lazybones vs easy kill

Published On: March 6, 2018 05:07 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

When I finished high school in the early 1990s, I looked up to an older cousin as one possible role model. He had an “intermediate” degree and proudly taught at a primary school. Two decades later, when his son dropped out of college and went abroad to make money, along with many of his peers, I found it shocking that the new generation didn’t pursue more education than ours.

International illusions

Published On: November 29, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

One can only hope that Nepali scholars and policymakers will come back to their senses and start informing the public that English-only instruction is dangerous.

Translingual benefits

Published On: October 24, 2017 01:30 AM NPT By: Shyam Sharma

Scholarship based on classroom observations has consistently shown that teachers of content subjects, in general, cannot teach in English effectively.