Schools hopeful apex court will clear confusion over old versus new curriculum for grade 11Government-run schools have switched to a new curriculum, which private schools have refused to adopt.
Padmodaya School in Putalisadak, Kathmandu, started grade 11 classes based on the new curriculum prepared by the Curriculum Development Centre from the last week of September.
Classes were running smoothly until the Supreme Court on November 4 issued an interim order halting the implementation of the new curriculum until its final verdict.
“The interim order has confused us,” Narayan Gautam, principal at the school, told the Post. “We are currently teaching the contents that are common in both the curricula. However, we haven’t been able to run the classes in a full-fledged manner since we are not sure what verdict the court is going to announce.”
The hearing on the case, originally slated for November 11, has already been rescheduled thrice. The latest rescheduled date for December 21, and schools across the country expect the Supreme Court to give its final verdict on the matter this time.
Following the government’s decision to replace the old curriculum in January, all government-run higher secondary schools switched to the new curricula prepared by the Curriculum Development Centre.
Private schools, however, are opposed to the decision. They have been saying that it is wrong to enforce the new curriculum at the time of crisis.
While the Supreme Court’s interim order may have offered respite to private schools, it has also caused confusion among government-run higher secondary schools, where around 70 percent of the higher secondary students are enrolled.
“The delay in the final verdict has hampered the classes,” said Heramba Raj Kandel, principal of Bishwo Niketan School at Kathmandu’s Tripureshwor. “We are okay with the old curriculum as well, but the court’s final verdict has come to come.”
Private school operators also say they want the final verdict on the matter to clear the confusion.
Lok Bahadur Bhandari, general secretary of Higher Institutions and Secondary Schools’ Association Nepal, said they expected the Supreme Court to issue its final verdict on December 21.
“The Supreme Court had rightly issued the interim order to halt the implementation of the new curriculum. We expect its final verdict will also be in the same line.”
Schools started grade 11 classes a month after the National Examination Board on August 17 published the results of the Secondary Education Examinations (SEE). Among 482,986 students who had registered for the grade 10 national exams this year, 472,078 were promoted to grade 11 based on internal evaluation, as the SEE could not take place due to the pandemic.
Months of education disruption caused by the pandemic has led the government to truncate the academic year. It is one of the reasons why private schools are reluctant to adopt the new curriculum that has raised the subject numbers to six from the existing five.
According to the new curriculum, students will have to study six subjects each in grades 11 and 12 instead of the present five. Three of these are compulsory — English, Nepali and Social Studies in grade 11 and Life Skills Education in grade 12 — and three others elective subjects.
The new curriculum, according to the Curriculum Development Centre, has been designed to switch to the single-track curriculum for grades 11 and 12 from the system of four disciplines where students after passing grade 10 chose Science, Management, Humanities or Education stream.