KATHMANDU, July 26: Uncertainty looms over the timing of the next School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination as the government has failed to appoint the chairperson at the National Examination Board (NEB), which will oversee the SLC exam from now onward.
The NEB came into existence about a month ago following the eighth amendment in the Education Act, which requires holding SLC exams at grade 12 as against grade 10 until now.
However, schools are confused about the timing of the SLC exams. “We are uncertain about whether the SLC exams will be held at grade 12 or grade 10 this year,” said Babu Ram Pokharel, managing director at the St Paul International School, Baneshwar, Kathmandu. “So we are preparing our grade 10 students for the SLC exams,” he added.
According to the Department of Education (DoE), the Office of the Controller of Examinations that held the SLC exam has been dissolved. The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) has been also scrapped. “The NEB has been formed in their place,” said the DoE officials.
The NEB will consist of a board headed by a chairperson and include a vice-chairperson, a member-secretary and board members. The government will appoint the NEB officials including chairperson while secretary at the Ministry of Education will be the vice-chairperson.
However, the government is yet to appoint the chairperson of the NEB, who is to be recommended by a committee chaired by the Public Service Commission member.
“Until a chairperson is appointed by the government, the process to address the concerns related to SLC exams will be delayed,” said Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman at the Ministry of Education.
The Office of President approved the eighth amendment of the Education Act 1972 about a month ago after it was endorsed by Parliament last month.
As per the act, grade 10 exams will be taken at regional/province level while the exams of grade 8 will be conducted by the district. After the promulgation of the amended act, the grade 12 exam will be held as SLC board exam, according to the MoE.
“We will have answers only after the formulation of education policy and new regulations,” said Lamsal. “Exams will be held each year. But it is yet to be determined whether the next SLC exams will be held after two years or at the end of the academic session of grade 12 this year,” he added.
The students currently enrolled in grades 11 and 12 have already appeared in the SLC. Even the ministry officials are not clear about whether these students will have to appear in SLC exams once again.