Education Ministry mulls alternatives for SEEPrime Minister Oli has said that conducting the Grade 10 board finals is not possible this year.
Amid uncertainty over the Secondary Education Examination, the Ministry of Education is mulling different alternatives for the test, including internal evaluation to promote the students.
The ministry has started looking for alternatives following Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s remarks that holding the Grade 10 finals is not possible. Addressing the nation on Monday, Oli had said: “The delay in the examination has created a dilemma among thousands of students. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will make necessary arrangements so that the SEE students don’t lose their entire academic year.”
Normally, the new academic session of Grade 11 starts in July and the SEE results are published in June.
This year’s SEE was scheduled to take place on March 19. The test was postponed a day due to the coronavirus. As many as 482,219 students had registered to sit for this year’s examination.
Deepak Sharma, spokesperson at the ministry, said discussions were underway to find a suitable alternative for the SEE.
“We have received various suggestions. We will decide on the alternative after consultation with the National Examination Board,” he said.
The board is responsible for conducting the annual test.
Sharma said providing certificates based on internal evaluation was one of the options the ministry was considering.
The board has given around half a dozen suggestions to the government, which include holding the tests on different phases starting in the areas where there are no cases of coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, coronavirus infection has been confirmed in 43 of the 77 districts.
The other alternative suggested by the board is conducting tests of six compulsory subjects and allowing schools to check the answer sheets.
Allowing the respective schools to hold their examinations on their own or issuing certificates based on the internal tests are the other options.
“Our existing law might not allow issuing the certificates without conducting the board examinations,” Chandra Mani Poudel, chairperson of the board, told the Post. “The law, however, can be revised from the ongoing session of Parliament which takes a week, at maximum, for the entire process.”
Calls to recognise internal evaluations and scrap the SEE have been increasing with no certainty of the Grade 10 board finals taking place this year.
Earlier on April 21, the National Campaign for Education, an umbrella body of 300 non-governmental organisations working in the education sector, had suggested that the government scrap the SEE and promote students through internal evaluation.
Similarly, the Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation, Nepal on May 5 had asked the government to authenticate internal evaluation and issue certificates to Grade 10 students accordingly.
Political leaders and lawmakers, including former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and former Health Minister Gagan Thapa, have spoken in favour of permanently scrapping the SEE from this year.
They have argued that the national board finals for Grade 10 were unnecessary when the government has recognised Grade 12 as the final school year.
On Monday, Nepali Congress leader Nabindra Raj Joshi-led Ganesh Man Singh Foundation also suggested the government to permanently scrap the test and hold the school level board examinations at Grade 12.
The foundation said the test should be localised as envisioned by the constitution.
The Constitution of Nepal has authorised local governments to oversee the school management and exams.
However, five years after the constitution was promulgated, the National Examination Board is not willing to decentralise its authority