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Education Minister Rai Concerns Rise Over the Declining Faith in Nepal's Education System

News 24 Sep 2023 1169 0

Ashok Kumar Rai

Education Minister Ashok Rai Concerns Rise Over the Declining Faith in Nepal's Education System

September 24, 2023, KATHMANDU — The increasing trend among Nepali youth to favor foreign education over local institutions has caught the attention of Nepal's Education, Science, and Technology Minister, Ashok Rai. In a recent address marking the 20th anniversary of the 'National Campaign for Education Nepal', Rai expressed deep concern over this shift in mindset.

"Home country is finished, abroad is best" - A Rising Mentality Among Youth

  • Minister Rai highlighted a prevailing sentiment termed 'Home country is finished, abroad is best' which translates to a diminishing faith in local systems and a rising preference for international standards.
  • This mentality is not just a thought pattern but a manifestation in actions; evident from the fact that many students who complete their 12th standard opt for foreign universities, clearing global exams like TOEFL, SAT, and IELTS.

Lost Confidence in Domestic Education

  • Rai, who also holds the position of Federal Council Chairman of the Janata Samajwadi Party, expressed his disappointment in not being able to instill confidence in the nation's universities among students.
  • The sentiment, Rai explained, goes beyond education. It even extends to students’ readiness to endure hardships abroad for education, while neglecting potential opportunities at home.

Efforts Gone In Vain?

  • As an example of the students' reluctance towards domestic opportunities, Rai shared an incident from Pokhara University. Despite allocating a budget of 70 lakhs for 'Job and Education', no student was prepared to pursue that career path.
  • The situation prompted Minister Rai to question, "How do we instill passion in our students towards work?"

A Change in Perception Needed

  • Rai emphasized the need to reshape social perceptions regarding professions and work, alluding to traditional tasks such as plowing and weaving which were not once considered education but are now vital skills.
  • "The definition of education cannot be static. What was once not considered education has now evolved into recognized skills and professions," Rai commented.

Investment in Education: A Two-Fold Problem

  • The minister identified two major issues: a lack of sufficient investment in the education sector and a disparity between investment and achievements.
  • He pointed out that while international benchmarks suggest allocating 20-30% of the total budget to education, Nepal has committed a mere 11.2% this financial year.

Minister Rai's comments have sparked a widespread discussion about the future of education in Nepal and the measures required to restore faith in domestic institutions.

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