Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Science scholarships for +2 students from 9 districts

The government has decided to provide free education and monthly living allowance for students who are forced to leave their home districts to study science in the higher secondary level.

Issuing a public directive on Sunday, the Department of Education has asked the District Education Offices in nine districts to submit the list of such students by mid-January. Tehrathum, Makawanpur, Khotang, Bhojpur, Manang, Mustang, Jajarkot, Doti and Dolpa districts lack the science stream in their public higher secondary schools. There is tuition fee waiver for students from the districts who are in Grade 11 in the public schools recommended by the Department apart from the monthly living allowance of Rs 3,000.

The government, in an agreement reached with the student unions while phasing out the Proficiency Certificate Level from the Tribhuvan University, had promised to establish at least one science Plus Two school in each district. Three years after the commitment, still nine of the 75 districts lack science education in the higher secondary level, compelling the government to announce the special package for the students there.

To qualify for the scholarship, students need a minimum of 50 percent marks in the School Leaving Certificate exams and must be studying in public HS schools prescribed by the Department. As per the terms, students from Tehrathum should study in an HSS in Dhankuta or Sunsari district while those from Makawanpur need to get enrolled in an HSS from Chitwan, Dhading or Parsa districts while those from Khotang should go to schools in Sunsari or Udaypur.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students from Bhojpur need to get enrolled in schools in Dhankuta or Morang while Kaski and Lamjung are the districts for students from Manang.

Aspiring science students from Mustang have to travel to Myagdi, Kaski or Baglung, those from Jajarkot need to get enrolled in an HSS in Surkhet or Rukum while the schools in Dadeldhura, Kailali or Kanchanpur are for students from Doti. Those from Dolpa have to get enrolled in higher secondary schools in Banke or Surkhet districts.

Education for All targets ‘achievable’
Two years before the completion of the Education for All programme, the government has claimed it will achieve the set goals on time.

The Education Ministry said it has started evaluation of the achievements, and is working to devise programmes to be implemented after 2015. Education for All (EFA), a global programme that started in 2001, has set seven goals that include providing free and compulsory primary education to all children, increasing literacy rate to 90 percent and guaranteeing the right to education in own mother tongue.

Addressing a programme on Tuesday, Director General of the Department of Education Lawa Dev Awasthi said they have made improvements in all the goals and are near achieving the targets.

He, however, accepted that the government has failed to achieve the target of quality education. The government has claimed that enrolment in primary level has reached 95 percent. Likewise, the number of female teachers has increased while the student-teacher ratio has dropped significantly.

“Education became the agenda only of the Education Ministry, not a common goal of all the ministries,” he said. Unesco is providing technical support to prepare a national report on EFA implementation.

source: the kathmandu post,18 Dec 2013