The author of an op/ed from the state-run news daily, The Rising Nepal, seems to view home education in a favorable light. What this bodes for Nepalese citizens, and how the trend will develop, I can’t even pretend to guess.
Still, the text has a small lesson for the hazards of translating particulars between different societies. The added emphasis is mine.
- The Rising Nepal, Gorkhapatra, Kathmandu, Nepal, 28 June 2006, The National Open School System
In fact, the open school system was set several years back, yet it has not really taken off. The Americans, whom we so like to imitate in other ways, have actively promoted the concept of home schooling. Indeed it is considered quite a happening way of encouraging education.
Parents proffer many reasons for preferring home schooling. One among them is the security of their children, and this will provide them a chance to learn and remember ideas and moral principles besides inculcating a spirit of enquiry than in the formal schooling system. The recent available data show that children tutored at home registered higher marks in the national examination in the United States than students tutored in the formal school system.
Apart from a mindset which does not accept the open system, another problem it faces is that far too few people actually know what it all about. And during insurgency periods, when the terrorists are selectively targeting the educational institutions and burning school buses, it would be an ideal solution to overcome these sorts of problems.
And we think we have security problems with our kids in school?
- The government’s publicity division, which unfailingly lectures people on such issues as evils of alcoholism, has never once made any attempt to inform the public that such schemes which can transform lives actually exist. In recent times, there has been much debate on what the children should or should not learn in the curriculum and, of course, the hullabaloo about the legislation on making elementary education compulsory. A far more productive route to the universalisation of elementary education should be popularised with such programmes as the open school system by educating the people on both desirability and quality.
Good luck to the Nepalese.