In the mirror of community schools, there are some secrets of not improving the quality of education
(This article is an automatically translated text of an original article written in the Nepali language. There can be anomalies in translation. The original article is at: https://shyamacharya.com.np/articles/4639)
In recent days, the news that the quality of school education in Nepal is deteriorating has been heard in every educational debate. The Ministry has given top priority to quality. But there is disappointment in progress. There is no sign of improvement. Although the quality is relative. Not that I haven’t learned anything. UNESCO says quality education is only possible if there is quality and investment in the framework of quality education. We have not been able to make the investment quality nor the process. Earlier plans focused on investment. This led to a good improvement in the enrollment rate, but the quality continued to decline. SSRP said that if success has been achieved in the field of access, now it is time to focus on quality. The same thing was repeated in SSDP. The body of the ministry, the Education Review Office (ERO), is giving grounds that the quality has not improved.
Comparing the quality, Province No. 3 is considered to be somewhat better. A study was conducted in a representative community school in the same province. The research was conducted on 86 students studying in class 9 using standardized method. Those students were oriented. Mathematics and science subjects were examined. The performance of the school was tested. Student background and feedback were taken. Student and headmaster feedback, answers, scores were analyzed and all stakeholders were present and the results were made public and suggestions for improvement were made. The transparency of school activities was found to be weak and there were many problems in the participation of the community. On the one hand, the teaching-learning process is found to be weakening and on the other hand, it has been found that the technology suitable for the 21st century has not been used.
During the study, a kind of deviation was observed in the students. There was no self-confidence in answering. It was found that many attempts were made to move or ask the answer of the friend and it was found that the request of the participating teacher and PA was also disobeyed. After seeing this situation, the students were also asked, “What percentage of your friends’ answers do you write in the exam?” The answer of the student was that about 40-50 percent was said by the weaker students and about 10 percent was said by the students who would bring good results in the class. A study by the Center for ERO shows that students are more likely to get better results if they have an environment where they can write in a clean environment than when cheating and moving friends. Therefore, even if only the examination system can be improved, the quality of education can be improved and the educational achievement can also be increased. It was found that only 33 percent of the students were able to solve the things that need to be learned before 8th grade. What this reveals is that reading in a large classroom seems to be a problem for students in the basics of a small classroom. In order to improve the quality of education, special attention should be paid to the basic level.
International studies have shown that students’ learning is influenced by their family’s socio-economic status and teacher’s contribution. If you look at the results of the national test of student achievement, it is very high in Nepal alone. It has been seen that children from families with high socio-economic status will be more helpful in learning while those with low socio-economic status will have less support accordingly. The study found that only 20 percent of children receive a monthly salary from their parents, while another 60 percent are engaged in agriculture and spend some days at home. Among these parents are S.E.E. Or 9 percent of fathers who study more than that, while the mother’s qualification was found to be 8th grade or less. It was found that the number of students who do not have the capacity to support any kind of study at home is around 40 percent. Students who say their fathers are 7 percent illiterate and their mothers 18 percent illiterate say that it is difficult because there is no one to teach them at home. Only one student at the school said his parents were staff and one was a teacher, while very few said they would work in a hospital or hotel. It has also been found that political activists have no children because no one has been involved in politics. It was found that the children of educated, earning, politicians and businessmen who became role models of the society did not study in the school. The teacher is the same, the school is the same. It is important to find out the secret of why the school, which at one time managed to get high marks for most of the students, is in a weak position today.
The students studying in the community schools were found to have good knowledge and conscience about the condition of teachers, school and society. They are also aware of the fact that their studies are weak. They also say that there is no study environment. About 40 percent of the students said that they do not study or do homework at home. The students who participated in the study have expressed that the school, the teacher and themselves have done what it takes to make the school an educational bag. The views expressed by them are no less than those of scholars in the field of education, but are even more practical and clear.
Asked what the school should do to improve the quality of education, the students said: He said that drugs should not be consumed around the school and the school premises should be clean and noise free. Teachers emphasize the need to treat all students equally and with respect, increase students’ self-confidence, understand their problems, provide necessary counseling, and conduct impunity classes. While conducting teaching and learning activities, it is mentioned that teaching should be done in groups, project work, teaching in a fun way, listening to them, teaching in a modern way by discovering new things day by day. Schools should always be open, at least one bell should be read in the library, books should be provided in the library, computers should be added, good running water should be provided, and educational materials should be provided to the teachers. What these students suggest is that the school lacks the resources available for teaching and does not pay attention to the use of existing facilities. It has been revealed that attention has been paid to the establishment of the library but indifference has been shown in its use. In addition to conducting coaching classes on difficult subjects, the school should give priority to poor students, provide scholarships, visits and games, conduct regular examinations, call parents and give suggestions to the parents about the learning condition of the students, and the headmaster should monitor the teachers. The students’ suggestions are thought-provoking and realistic because they are based on their experiences. They have also given many suggestions to the teachers.
When asked what teachers should do in school, they said that students should be treated fairly, students should be disciplined, focus on the weaker than the clever, and ask questions to everyone. This indicates that the teachers only ask questions to the students who know the class and make them participate in the discussion but do not pay attention to the weaker students. Students are advised by teachers to be polite, to be polite to their friends, not to be bullied, to solve problems by understanding the reasons, and to call the parents of students who do bad things to find a way to improve. They demand to see if any student is participating in the learning in the classroom, to pay attention to the attendance of all, to teach new things, to teach in an understandable language and to answer the questions asked without hesitation. The teachers also said that they should pay attention to the cleanliness of the school, the welfare of the students and the teachers should work together. With these suggestions, many steps need to be taken immediately to improve the relationship between teachers and students in the school and the learning environment of the school. They demanded that teachers should come to the classroom on time and teach without talking left and right. He also said that teachers should wear school uniform.
The students have also expressed the view that there is a problem in their behavior. Among the improvement measures they expect from themselves and their peers are to clean the classroom themselves, read and write by asking each other, participate in other school activities, study in groups, do homework, follow rules, dress neatly, do not make noise and do not know. He said that the matter should be kept open. He also mentioned that teachers should be respected and should study when the teacher is not present. These ideas have highlighted how community school classrooms work. These students’ ideas and the facts shown by the research represent the state of school education in Nepal. Among all these ideas, not only the problem but also the measures for improvement are clearly seen.
It is unthinkable to improve the quality of education unless the educational environment is improved. Improving managerial leadership and teacher teaching and learning activities in community schools and bringing transparency in school activities will increase community participation. The evaluation process should start with the teaching-learning process that can be repeated. Community schools have a predominance of students with low socio-economic status, so remedial teaching on difficult subjects should be provided by the school itself to provide additional learning opportunities to the weaker students. Every school and teacher should run a campaign to develop the knowledge and skills of the basic subjects in all the students while teaching in the school. It should not be forgotten that improvements made in small things will improve the overall system. Therefore, in order to create a learning environment in schools, proper sanitation, drinking water, toilets, libraries, information technology, etc., should be defined as minimum requirements and the practice of using them in compulsory arrangements and teaching and learning should be developed. The expressions and suggestions expressed by the students in this article should be considered by all schools and teachers and all kinds of students should be treated in an interactive and modern way by treating them equally and respectfully. Teachers and schools need to be committed to this.
This article is based on the author’s personal opinion and the results of the school’s case study. The idea presented in it is not the official idea of the Education Review Office. The name of the school has not been made public. The presented results have been presented in the general meeting of the school management committee, parents, local government officials, employees, students, teachers, and others. The Education Review Office was officially invited to investigate and was requested to find out the problems of the school.
This article has been published in Education Review Office, Nepal (ero.gov.np)
Involved in research:
- Shyam Prasad Acharya, Technical Officer, ERO
- Hari Prasad Aryal, Director, ERO,
- Lav dev Bhatt, Technical Officer.