National Examination Board opens registration for SEEProvincial governments have been demanding that they be allowed to conduct the exams.
Amid government indecision over various aspects of this year’s Secondary Education Examination, the National Examination Board has opened registration for grade 10 students to take part in the exams under the usual format.
The process, which generally starts and concludes in August, was delayed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the Ministry of Education hasn’t decided whether the exams will be conducted centrally or the provincial governments would be authorised to administer the exams in areas under their jurisdiction. The format of the exam also hasn’t been finalised.
As of now, except for printing answer sheets, the provincial government’s have no role in conducting the grade 10 final exams. Ram Raj Khakurel, chief of Controller of Examinations under the board, said they opened the registration as the further delay would push the academic calendar. The SEE is held every March.
“We decided to start the registration process as it seemed the government will take some time to decide which authority will be conducting the exams,” said Khakurel. The board last month had requested the government to finalise the details of the exams at the earliest.
It had sought clarity over the modality of the exam as the government, with no prospect in holding the test, had decided to authorise schools to grade their students last year. The board had issued certificates based on the grades sent by the schools. The Education and Health Committee of Parliament also had directed the government to stop conducting the examination centrally through the board.
Gopinath Mainali, secretary at the ministry, said they have submitted a proposal to the Cabinet regarding the authority to conduct the exams, timing of the test and its modality. “We are expecting that the Cabinet meeting on Sunday will decide what is to be done,” he told the Post. “We prepared the proposal after holding consultations with the concerned stakeholders.”
The ministry had held interactions with the representatives of the teachers’ associations, education experts and the government officials on the issue. It had also held discussions with the social development ministers and secretaries from all provinces.
They had suggested that the provinces be allowed to conduct the exams as per the eighth amendment to the Education Act. The amendment says SEE will be held at the regional level.
Provincial governments, therefore, have been demanding authority to conduct SEE exams. “We have been demanding that local governments be allowed to manage basic education (upto grade 8) and the provincial governments SEE,” Nawal Kishore Sah, Province 2’s minister for Social Development, told the Post. “We expect the federal government to decide accordingly.”
Talking to the Post earlier this month, Mainali had said a large number of stakeholders had suggested delaying the test by a couple of months, and not to allow schools to grade their students.
With plans to wrap up the ongoing academic session by March-April, the Curriculum Development Centre in September reduced the school curricula load by 30 percent, adjusted the learning hours for grades 1 to 3 students to 69o and for students of grades 4 to 10 students to 848 hours. Though Mainali declined to comment, officials at the ministry say it is clear that the ongoing academic year will not conclude in March-April.
They claim it will be pushed to June and the SEE will be held at the same time. “We don’t think it is possible to hold the SEE by March,” Chandra Mani Poudel, chairperson of the board, told the Post. “It will be delayed, most possibly by a couple of months.”