Decisions, Decisions: Factors to consider when choosing a suitable +2 institution

The options currently available in the country for these thousands of neograduates comprise of +2 courses from the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB), CBSE courses, IB level courses, or A-level courses. Since the government has phased out the Intermediate level, the dependency on HSEB courses has risen tremendously.

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BINOD GHIMIRE
It is a dilemma all students face when they finally step out of their schools to scout colleges and figure out what they want to do in their +2. And it wouldn’t be any different in the case of the 208,187 students who got through the School Level Certificate (SLC) exams this year. Selecting the right college is a significant step, something that will largely determine one’s future.

The options currently available in the country for these thousands of neograduates comprise of +2 courses from the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB), CBSE courses, IB level courses, or A-level courses. Since the government has phased out the Intermediate level, the dependency on HSEB courses has risen tremendously. “These courses are accessible, competitive, affordable for everyone, and world-recognised,” says Kapil Dev Regmi, Principal at Kanjirowa College. The post SLC period is a time of transition for the students, who are undergoing myriad of biological and psychological changes. It was to offer these students a proper school-like environment that the +2 system was introduced in Nepal in the early 90s. The Board, once established with just 1,338 students from 38 affiliated schools across the country, now boasts thousands under its banner.

Data at the HSEB shows that 3,383 schools are today affiliated to the Board, comprising 900,000 students in the 11th and 12th grades. Among the total number of students who secure pass percentages in the SLC, 90 percent are found to have chosen +2 institutions. And majority of these are non-private; private colleges comprise only one-fourth of the total—250 of which are in the Valley itself. This year alone, 260 schools have already applied for affiliation, among which 156 are likely to get green-signalled in a month’s time. The data demonstrates that the +2 has been the best example of decentralisation, where availability of higher education in rural areas has played a role in decreasing educational migration. “Access to higher education has become easier with the inception of the +2,” says education expert Mana Prasad Wagle. In the last two decades since the +2 was introduced in Nepal, not only has it helped in producing thousands of competent students each year, but also brought positive changes in the country’s education system. Although non-private colleges certainly dominate the list of HSEB affiliates in terms of numbers, the private sector is still far ahead in providing quality education, and creating a market space.

In fact, the sector has always been in a leading position when it comes to pass percentages and high scores. “Private colleges have made a huge difference in raising the quality of higher education, and this is the reason why private sector-operated +2 is the first choice for most students,” says Binod Joshi, CEO at Florida Higher Secondary School. The availability of decent +2 courses in the country itself has, to some extent, slowed the draining of students to other countries and saved the economy billions of rupees every year. “Our estimates show that around Rs 5 billion is saved annually with increased control over the number of students leaving the country for their further studies,” says Yubraj Sharma, the CEO at Himalayan WhiteHouse College and General Secretary of the Higher Secondary Schools’ Association Nepal (HISSAN). According to Sharma, the investment from the private sector in education extends to Rs 75 billion, of which Rs 15 billion is dedicated to +2 education alone.

INFORMED CHOICES
Searching for a suitable college involves assessing one’s needs, aspirations and spending capacity. Before making any decision, however, it is important that the students first judge their own aptitudes and interests. After choosing a course of study, students must then look for colleges offering those courses. “One also should observe and examine the teaching methodologies adopted,” says CEO of Barsha College, Narendra Singh. Similar advice is given by Naresh Prasad Shrestha, the principal of Prime College, who says a college should be chosen on the basis of value it imparts. “Students need to choose an institution that best brings out their potential,” he says. “Individual care is of utmost importance.”

Factors to consider when choosing a suitable +2 institution
> A college must have a good and functional infrastructure
> It should have an affordable fee structure
> It should have proper laboratories
> It should boast well-qualified and experienced faculty
> It should have a modern library that is easily accessible to students
> There should be proper management of playgrounds and indoor games facilities
> Co-curricular, extracurricular activities, and cultural programmes need to be incorporated
> Coaching and guidance for entrance and competitive examinations must be provided
> Good transport facilities must be on offer

source:Ghimire, Binod(2012),"Decisions, Decisions: Factors to consider when choosing a suitable +2 institution", The Kathmandu Post,20 June 2012

photo courtesy: Laxmi Pd Ngakhushi, The Kathmandu Post

2012-06-20 | EducateNepal

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