How students select higher secondary schools? A case study in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

by Ram Prasad Sharma (Author)
Academic Paper 2013 48 Pages


Table of Contents

1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Hypothesis in the study
1.5 Rationale of the study

2.1 Review of literature
2.2 Secondary education current trend and international issues
2.3 Background of secondary education in Nepal
2.4 Rationality of HS education
2.5 Objectives of HS education in Nepal
2.6 Theoretical Review
2.6.1 Functional Perspective
2.6.2 Liberal and Marxist Perspective
2.6.3 Conflict Perspective
2.6.4 Interactionist's Perspective

3.1 Rationale of the selection of the study area
3.2 Research design
3.3 Nature and source of the data
3.4 Universe and Sampling
3.5 Data collection technique
3.6 Reliability and validity of data
3.7 Data processing and analysis
3.8 Operational definition of the key terms
3.9 Limitation of the study

4.1 Scenario of students in classes with respect to their SLC score and schooling
4.2 The factors influencing the selection of college
4.3 The factors influencing the choice of subject
4.4 Level of satisfaction with the choice of college
4.5 Level of satisfaction with the choice of subject
4.6 Level of performance in the class
4.7 How could the level of satisfaction be more?
4.8 The level of confidence in the respondent in fulfilling their aim
4.9 Respondents advices for others


5.1 Discussion
5.2 Conclusion

6.1 Summary
6.2 Recommendation and Suggestions
6.2.1 For fresh S L C graduates
6.2.2 For the parents
6.2.3 For the +2 college owners
6.2.4. For HSEB and government




1.1 Background of the study

It is said that education is a life- long process, but the basic education that one gets during the formative year definitely contributes to the shaping of one's future and outlook. This is where; the school and high school education assumes importance. Today's school is not merely a school it is much more. Its teachers and staff together with the guardians and students give it a wholesome environment. As student not only finds a guru here but guides and friends for life. It is a place to inculcate the fundamentals of honored values. The education of the weak brains between the ages of 17 - 18 is counted within the school education in the international arena (www.hseb.edu.np).

Education, the term itself means for 'to train', 'to lead out' and to 'bring up'. It's comprehensive and implicit aims are the enlargement of mind, discipline, universal outlook , character , activities, trust worthiness ,ideation of good , omniscient and nice temperament (shrestha, 2061 BS). Socrates, Forbes, Cant as philosophers have taken it as the process of complete development .Russo has explained it as the process of building the habits and practices. Johan Deben has explained as the process of adjustment or adaptation in the environment. Hence, there is a great role of education for the standardization of characters, behavior, habits and life process of human being that collectively supports for political and socio-economic up-liftment, total development and nation building. A better-educated human resource is the oxygen of development and progress (ibid).

According to the general principle of education the objectives of education can be individualistic and socio relative in nature. On this basis, the objectives are determined according to the time, place and relevancy. The individual objective of the education is to support to the individual for personality development, exposure of innate potentials and make alert for himself in the achievement of dreams and desires. In the other hand the social objectives of education includes making human being capable to explore the socio-economic potentialities, secure and maintain the quality of life standard, develop relevancy quality , maintain social norms and values , practice the socio cultural traditions etc.

Hence, a state should make an education policy so that their people can achieve the above-mentioned individual and social objectives. The educational policy should be:

- Able to develop the faith of nationalism and be functional to enhance the quality of people to follow the norms and values of the contemporary society.
- Relevant to meet the contextual needs and international standards.
- Maintain equality and equity in practice.
- A medium to mainstream all the groups of the societies.

Historically, there were Gurukul , Devkul, Rajkul, Pitrikul etc. educational practices in Nepal. Mostly Sanskrit was the main language. Gradually, formal educational systems introduced. First of all Jung Bahadur Rana established an English Primary School to teach English to their children in 1910 BS at Thapathali, Kathmandu. That school in 1948 BS gained the shape of Durbar High School. In 1990 BS SLC board established in Kathmandu and in 1972 BS Education Department was established. After that, the number of high schools increased gradually. In 1975 Trichandra College was established. After the demise of Rana regime and political change in 2007 BS , in the changing socio-political scenario the need of change in educational system was felt. Due to which an educational board -2009 was constructed. For the introduction of better and relevant educational system, education commission was made in 2011 BS and 2018 BS. By the recommendations of those commissions a national educational system plan, 2028 was put forwarded as the directive of new educational policy in 2028 BS in Nepal (ibid).

After the educational system plan, 2028, education structure and management system was graded as Primary, Lower Secondary, and Secondary and after ten classes; all grades were grouped under Higher Education system. After the restoration of democracy in 2047 BS , a report was given by the National Education Commission , 2049 where that explained and recommended about national education policy. That policy proposed the 10+2 grade as Higher Secondary Level education equivalent to inter level or PCL level of contemporary education system, which is still effective. The Higher Secondary act, 2046 (with amendments) and Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) are the legal and institutional regulatory structures of this grade of education now.

After the enforcement of Higher Secondary education system as in the international system, gradually Higher Secondary schools started to operate the course. Nevertheless, a throat cut competition started due to the mushrooming of the 0+2 Schools in the name of college, academy and research center etc. in the private sector. Since, the +2 admissions and result scheduled in time and +2 students comparatively scored higher than PCL students in the campus many people preferred +2 rather than PCL. Students flow diverted towards private +2 (specially 0+2) colleges. Some +2 owners earned better in short time. Due to which this business became highly commercialized. New and new advertisement techniques started to lure students. Unbelievable scholarship and discount systems applied to promote the mass business. In the recent data as provided by BSEB there are about 1197 Higher Secondary (+2) institutions and about 350,000 students studying there in Nepal.

Table 1. Sectoral distribution of higher secondary institutes in Nepal

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: HSEB, 2064/3/16

1.2 Statement of the problem

Since, +2 educational markets became more and more complex that created problem for the students and parents to select institutes for study. Many students even unknowingly select the subjects in this illusive environment because of the very lucrative attractions strategies followed by colleges. Some started to admit by different sources of pressures.

As we have seen so many exhibitions and seminars conducted by different institutions, colleges solely or in grand collaboration in different places before and after the SLC result published. The participants representatives of academic institutes seem to be founder/ investors and their senior students and even some figurative in the exhibition. They present different brochures and pamphlets to the visitors and try to convince and fill up the forms in the name of counseling. At that time, we can see big fluxes and tools using the attractive photographs of their college buildings and students (especially girls). So many such tools, banners, posters make the city and highways bride.

Equally, one cannot deny the existence of numerous mediocre institutes coming up with beguiling ads. Just to make quick buck and cheat the students. This may not always the case, but such incidents cannot be overlooked. Hence, it is taken as the subject of comprehensive study. It is a time to know for the students of anthropology actually;

1. What are the bases of selecting college?
2. What can be the bases of selecting subjects?
3. Can students be able to fulfill their dream by +2 studies?
4. Are they satisfied with their performance in this illusive education market?
5. How are the students influenced?

For that discloser this study is designed for.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The overall objective of the study is to find the level of satisfaction and factors determining the selection of +2 college and subject in students.

The specific objectives are :

1. To determine the factors influencing for the choice of college and subject in present situation.
2. To find out the level of satisfaction in students after few months study in the college.
3. To find out the relation between desired college/subject and level of academic performance.

1.4 Hypothesis in the study

Students are satisfied with the choice of the college and subject / stream they are studying. Their own interest plays major role to select college and subject.

1.5 Rationale of the study

The proposed study is an academic study as a requirement for the Master's Degree in Anthropology from Trichandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuwan University, Nepal. Education is the most essential factor of social development for which various processes and strategies have been practiced after the restoration of democracy in Nepal.

In the present educational market, private educational institutions are rapidly flourishing. However, in the name of relevant, applied and quality education private institutions are in the throat cut competition. Yes, in the liberal market economy, private sectors are to be encouraged but government should monitor and regulate properly. By this study finding it is expected to disclose the real facts systematically. This study will find out the factors which are plying role to admit in any particular college and really they got benefit from that college or not. With that generalization government will get a guideline to formulate the further policy for the Higher Secondary education and +2 colleges specially more effectively which is a burning issue of the present days as well.



2.1 Review of literature

This study aims to analyze the level of satisfaction and factors determining the selection of +2 HSS /college and subject in students. Since, education always plays a vital role in social transformation. The focal point of the study is education, individual and society.

In the workshop paper of Koirala entitled "Concept of school education and concern of Higher Secondary education" (in Nepali), writes " The worldwide practiced Higher Secondary education is most necessary system accepted completely in accordance to the day by day changing global condition and demand of the time. This system of education is been operated not being emerged by any incident but due to the natural felt and need of educationists and intellectual circles in the context of ever growing globalization in education. The concept of Higher Secondary education in Nepal materialized in 1992 with intent of reforming the secondary level and higher education. This is the extension of school. But there are 0+2 (stand alone) also operating here". (www.hseb.edu.np)

In the topic "what to study, how to study? Interest own self", Jha (2063) writes " due to being the educational institutions of the country not so better many students are going abroad ". In the topic "where to study"? Pandit (2064) has indicated" there is no classification of +2 colleges, no standardization and there is the contest of advertisement. This is making difficult to select the colleges". In the same article, the president of guardian association says, "there is the trend of giving pressure by parents to select subject for students. That is not good ". In the "what to look for in a college" article Himalayan Times agencies has recommended many guidelines regarding the selection of college.

Some of the renowned colleges in Kathmandu valley achieve better result is due to being they able to admit the genuine students. One teacher teaching in one college is advertised as best college and the same teacher teaching in other is said to be not better. This is the standard made by 'beguiling' ads. Contest (ibid).

Hence, to disclose that, actually how the students are selecting college and subjects and are they satisfied in the selection? This study was conducted.

2.2 Secondary education current trend and international issues

The author in www.wikipedia.org explains that, in the early twenty-first century, secondary education follows a common elementary school experience, typically beginning at age twelve and continuing through age seventeen or eighteen. Elementary education deals with the rudimentary skills of reading, writing, and computation, as well as social goals deemed important by curriculum developers. Secondary education, however, extends beyond the elementary curriculum and addresses a combination of the personal, intellectual, vocational, and social needs of adolescents in society. Educators and policymakers have engaged in ongoing debate over what should be included in the secondary curriculum. In fact, the emphases of the secondary curriculum have shifted according to local and national goals; the historical, philosophical, and intellectual context; and societal beliefs about the role of youth in society, as well as other factors.

Secondary education has increasingly become a central policy concern of developing countries, particularly among those that have made rapid progress in universalizing primary education and among those in which the demographic trend has shifted in favor of adolescents. The majority of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia, and the Middle East, as well as some African countries, are grappling with the questions of how to provide skills and knowledge that enable adolescents to move to tertiary education and how to ensure a smooth transition to work for students whose education will end with secondary schooling.

Secondary education also addresses problems unique in human development. Without requisite education to guide their development, not only would young people be ill prepared for tertiary education or for the workplace, but they would also be susceptible to juvenile delinquency and teen pregnancy, thereby exacting a high social cost. Hence, the challenge for secondary education is enormous. It represents an unfinished agenda that all countries will face as they develop.

In Europe, higher education, including secondary education, began with training in religion and philosophy. Its purpose was to prepare leaders–especially religious leaders–and its curriculum reflected this purpose. As time passed, general topics for more applied professions were added as part of secondary and higher education curricula, and the curriculum was broadened accordingly. As these general topics were gradually added to the curriculum, they remained philosophical or theoretical in orientation. They were not studied as systems of empirical data, and proofs and validation of knowledge were theoretical rather than experimental.

The earliest secondary schools were based on renaissance models, with the role of Latin and Greek being paramount. In 1599, the Jesuits implemented the first clear and complete specification of subjects and content as part of the Counterreformation. This curriculum was called the Ration Studiorum (plan of studies), and it was initially implemented at the University of Salamanca in Spain. These early European secondary schools were almost exclusively for males, focusing on intellectual training in its narrow sense and preparation for leadership roles in all sectors of social and economic life.

The Enlightenment of the eighteenth century and the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries brought a new emphasis on scientific and technology studies and on empirical studies in general. Moreover, formal government involvement in secondary education grew, with concomitant involvement in curriculum. The first public high school in the United States was established in Boston in 1821.

From the nineteenth century to World War II, the curriculum at the secondary level began to encompass more subjects and became more specific, detailing the content to be covered and the time allotted for doing so. During this period, emphasis on philosophy, divinity, classical languages, and ancient history began to wane and was replaced with modern languages and literature, modern history, and scientific and technological subjects. At this time, most governments decided to educate a broader segment of their secondary-school-age population and included females for the first time. Secondary education became less elitist, more universal, and its curriculum more inclusive, or diverse. Although the curriculum was dominated by the needs of the socially and economically privileged rather than by the needs of the masses, there began, nevertheless, an irreversible process of change that acknowledged a growing diversity of student backgrounds and postsecondary options.

In the two decades before World War II, the influence of John Dewey and the Progressive movement, though targeted at the primary education level, had a major influence on secondary-level education. The progressives helped increase curricular emphasis on the practicality and social usefulness of schooling and on "learning by doing." Moreover, separate lower and junior secondary schools were established to cater to the growing number of students entering the secondary level.

The trend to broaden the curriculum began earliest and went farthest in the United States. In the twentieth century, it was responsible for introducing many new practical and vocational subjects. In the second half of the century, courses in driver education, family living, consumer economics, and mathematics for everyday life appeared for the first time. As students with a greater range of abilities, interests, and motivation entered the secondary level, "streaming" and "homogeneous grouping" became more prevalent. Academic secondary schools became more comprehensive and diversified. Courses and even course sequences in such vocational areas as graphic design, hair care and styling, automotive repair, carpentry and machine shop, and home economics began to appear. The launching of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957 was a powerful impetus behind the increase in the amount of scientific topics taught in the Western secondary curriculum, the rigor with which they were taught, and the care taken in their organization and presentation.

In general, the trend in the post–World War II period has been to divide students into streams, to make a single comprehensive secondary school serve a wider variety of interests and abilities, to provide access to a wide range of higher education through alternative curricula, and to broaden the secondary curriculum to include more subjects. Great Britain is a partial exception to this trend, as students tend to study only three subjects for their A-level examinations.

Colonial powers in the eighteenth, nineteenth, early twentieth century's educated only a very small portion of colonized peoples, and they educated this portion only at a basic level. In general, their interest was to produce complacent workers. Little education was necessary for this purpose; indeed, education could be seen as antithetical to it. Colonial policy for those few individuals educated beyond the primary school tended to emphasize the production of middle-level clerical and administrative personnel. Hence, the curriculum stressed correct language, arithmetic and accounting abilities, and an adequate fund of general knowledge–as distinct from scientific, aesthetic, or vocational subjects. Great importance was placed on the authority of the teacher and of the spoken and written word.

The independence of colonial countries in the two decades after World War II brought a near universal recognition of the importance of education at all levels for a greatly increased proportion of local populations. After independence, former colonial countries kept old colonial curriculums for a surprisingly long time–indeed some have been maintained intact into the early twenty-first century.

The secondary subsector presents some problems of definition in the sense that it falls between primary and tertiary levels and there is no universal agreement as to where primary ends and tertiary begins. The duration of (or the number of grades covered in) secondary education varies from three years in El Salvador to eight years in such countries as Yugoslavia and Kuwait. Similarly, when secondary education begins is highly variable (ranging from grade five to grade nine). The usual duration, however, is grades seven to twelve.

Most countries (the Latin American and Caribbean region is an exception) divide the secondary level of education into a first or lower segment and a second or higher segment. These may be denoted by different names, with a particularly varied set of names for the lower segment: middle, intermediate, lower secondary, junior high, upper elementary, and so on. In different countries, these labels may encompass different grades, student ages, curriculum, and objectives, and may be related to the educational levels above and below them in a variety of ways. The higher or upper secondary level is usually labeled simply in these terms or may be called senior high school in areas influenced by American nomenclature. It is also sometimes referred to as the pre university level.

There is a worldwide trend to establish the concept of basic education, which is understood to mean a minimum standard of schooling for everyone in a given society. This is frequently done by adding to the primary grades the first part of the secondary cycle (typically called the lower or junior secondary cycle). The combination of primary and lower secondary grades then becomes "basic education," which is usually administered separately from secondary education.

An additional complexity of the secondary subsector is the wide range of types of educational institutions falling under this heading. Attempts to define types by organization, curricular emphasis, or outcome objectives almost always reveal substantial overlap among categories. Exceptions to any classification, including this one, are plentiful. The most common classification includes three overlapping types: (1) general/academic schools, (2) vocational and technical schools, and (3) diversified or comprehensive schools, which are multipurpose institutions that try to combine under one roof the objectives of an academic course of study and one or more vocational fields.

It is clear that these three broad categories of secondary schools are arranged along a continuum of specialization in their dominant instructional objectives. At one end the schools are single-purpose institutions with an intensely academic curriculum. At the other end they are similarly specialized but with a vocational/technical curriculum. Secondary schools lying in the middle of the continuum are multipurpose institutions combining elements of both ends of the spectrum into their instructional program.

Stated outcomes and long-term social objectives of the different types of secondary schools often overlap. Almost all statements of the goals or objectives of all types of secondary education include items such as preparing students for the world of work and making students smoothly functioning members of society.

2.3 Background of secondary education in Nepal

The history of higher education in Nepal is not quite long. The nature of Nepalese higher secondary education is quite close with that of India. Khatri (2003) writes- "May be due to the historical reason and also the geo-physical conditions of this country, that our higher education system is closely linked with that of India which itself is impacted by the system of higher education in Britain", PP-11.

Rana regime was overthrown successfully on 18th February, 1951. After the achievement of freedom, new hopes for liberty, equality and fraternity prevail in the compatriots. The drastic political change followed by the Interim Constitution of 1951 guaranteed political, social and economic as the right of people. As the new government for the first recognized education as the right of the people the education field as well experienced tremendous change in a short period. Describing the reform in the higher education, Aryal ( 1970) writes : "post democratic Nepal saw quite a change in the area of Higher Education. By 1951, there were only two colleges , one for the study of English and other for the study of Sanskrit. Enrolment in both these college grew tremendously. The increase in enrolment at Trichandra College was from 200 in 1951 to 1550 in 1961. New faculties were added then".

According to the All-Round Education committee, the number of colleges reached from 2 in 1951 to 27 in 1961. Hence, it can be recapitulated that the growths in educational development speed up in the consecutive years. During the period between 1959 and 1971 concrete national infrastructures for the development of higher education were created. the introduction of NESP in 1971 was a great turning point in the history of the development of education in Nepal. It brought about great changes insuch basic things as the organizational structure of education, financial system , teachers service , education program and curriculum development and evaluation systems (Nepal District Profile, 1986).

Khatri (2003) writes -"A direct public involvement which was the main cause of the expansion and the development of higher education in the country, was possible only towards 1960s because by that time educational consciousness in the people was at its remarkable growth" pp 5. Slowly and steadily, the pace of higher education in Nepal moved forward consistently despite problems, making our educators feel that a united effort is need to reform the educational policy. As a result, National Education System Plan (NESP) was introduced, which received compliments from all sides. Khatri (ibid) mentions that more systematic advancement in the field of higher education occurred only after the implementation of NESP. Explaining the basic commitments of the system of higher education, he mentions that producing different levels of ale and skilled work force needed for the development of country, enhancing national culture and promoting social norms and values are major.

High School education, which comprises schooling at grade 11 and 12, is a new concept in Nepal's education history. It has two streams general and technical. The first one is supervised and governed by Higher Secondary Education Board andthe second one by the Council of the Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) on the other hand respectively (Human Development Report, 1998).

In Nepal, the second official level of education is the lower secondary level that typically begins at age 10 in the sixth grade and lasts through the eighth grade. Earlier, between 1951 and 1971, this was known as the middle level and consisted of sixth and seventh grades. The National Education Commission in 1992 defined the objective of the lower secondary level as "preparing morally and ethically upright citizens possessed of an appropriate level of knowledge in subject matters such as Nepali language, mathematics, and science ( www.wikipedia.org ).

Until 1992, the secondary level, comprised of the grades 9 and 10, was the final level of schooling in Nepal. At the end of grade 10, the Exam Controllers Office (ECO) based at Sano Thimi conducts a national level SLC examination. Since 1992, Nepal has started the higher secondary school education system consisting of the grades eleventh and twelfth. The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) conducts the national examinations. The higher secondary level is available in specialized areas such as science, management, humanities, and education. The system is based on the system prevalent in India and is popularly known as the ten-plus-two system. In 2000, there were 657 higher secondary education institutions, a large number of which were based in relatively affluent urban areas and were managed by the private sector. The National Education Commission (NEC) had recommended the opening of such institutions in remote and rural areas and focusing on five areas of general, professional, technical, polytechnic, and Sanskrit education. However, these recommendations remained largely elusive as late as 2001. In 2000, there were 42,000 students enrolled at the plus-two level.

In the 1950s, vocational training was introduced in the lower secondary classes, and it was described as prevocational education. At the secondary level, almost 25 percent of the curriculum consisted of vocational training. In addition, a vocational branch was also introduced to facilitate secondary school graduates to directly enter into the job market after SLC. The vocational subjects included agriculture, agronomy, horticulture, poultry, animal husbandry, dairy science, fishery, industrial electrical installation, furniture and metalwork, building construction, and bamboo work. In the early 1980s, vocational education in secondary schools began to be curtailed and secondary schools were no longer viewed as terminal institutions for vocational training. In 2000, vocational instruction through secondary schools was treated as one subject with a weight of about 14 percent and minimal emphasis on skill acquisition.

Since the 1980s, the government has established technical schools in different regions of the country. Initially there were seven such technical schools, six in the public sector and one in the private sector. The courses offered at these schools were at the lower secondary (those who have completed grade one through five and are above 15 years of age) and secondary levels (those who have completed seventh grade and are over 15 years of age). The courses offered were for three years duration, followed by one year of on-the-job training.

Since 1990s, the technical education at the secondary level became the responsibility of the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). International assistance further strengthened the infrastructure in nine technical schools and a tenth grade SLC diploma was required to enroll in these schools. Besides the Ministry of Education and NGOs, other ministries such as labor, women and social welfare, industries, tourism, communications, and water resources also provide vocational training in related sectors.

In the course of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goal on education -Education for All by 2015 AD " , Nepal government is planning to classify the school education management in two tires . In accordance, class 1 to class 8 will be primary grade and class 9 to 12 will be managed as Secondary grade (Tenth National Plan 2059-64 and Interim three yearly plans 064-67). After then the relevancy of SIC will be nil. Class 12 will be the terminator of school education. But it is still doubtful from when it could be effective since the afore said issue was the policy disclosed in 10th plan now concluded already.

Now 1197 Higher Secondary are in operation under HSEB. A level, familiar as world level study and 10+2 and equivalent programs are under different universities including Tribhuwan University. Even that no standard rod has been there to select the college. HSEB every year enlists best Higher Secondary institutes but has not classified these colleges, and seems no programs for that. Experts say that due to being no standard measuring rod so far made students and parents are bewildered (Pandit , 2064). As indicated by Koirala, the rationale and objectives of higher secondary education are as follows:



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  • Ram Prasad Sharma (Author)

The author was born in 1975 in a small village of the Mahabharat hill area in the Parvat district, Western Nepal.He has an M.Sc. in Zoology (Gold medal), an MA in Anthropology, and an LLB from the Tribhuwan University(TU), Nepal. He has about ten years of experience in teaching at school and on TUs campus.Presently, he works as an Admin. Officer in the Nepalese Government’s Company Nepal Telecom.

Title: How students select higher secondary schools? A case study in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal