Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis falter in gradesThe initiatives taken by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to improve learning achievement of school level students from marginalised communities have failed to produce desired results
Students from Dalit community and a majority of students from Janajati and other marginalised groups have been receiving free education along with cash incentives. However, their performance at school is far below compared to their classmates from Brahmin and Chettri communities. According to National Assessment of Student Achievement (Nasa), the learning achievement is lowest among Dalit students.
While the average national learning achievement for mathematics, science and Nepali stand at 35 percent, 41 percent and 48 percent, it is just 24 percent, 35 percent and 40 percent for the Dalit students. The performance of Dalit girl students in mathematics and science is even lower, at 23 percent and 33 percent respectively.
The learning achievement of Madhesi students is also found lower than the average in mathematics (29 percent), Nepali (37 percent) and science (36 percent). Among them, female students lag further behind male students (24 percent against 34 percent in mathematics, 31 percent against 40 percent in science and 34 percent against 39 percent in Nepali). The scenario is no different in case of the students from marginalised community whose average performance in all three subjects is 29 percent for boys and 25 percent for girls.
The disparity is also reflected among the students from Nepali and Non-Nepali speaking students which is 43 percent for the former while it is just 35 in all subjects for the latter.
According to the report, the mindset of the society which is also prevalent in the teachers to some extent is largely responsible for poor performance of students. “Modern education in Nepal has been influenced in several ways by the legacy of the historical caste system which still lives in the mindset of most Nepali society,” reads the report.
The second Nasa report shows that cases of bullying and mistreatment is higher among the children from marginalised community which ultimately affects their studies and their performance in examinations. The report also shows that performance of the students from marginalised communities is significantly higher in the urban areas where discrimination is much less than in rural parts of the country.