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Uncertainty looms over youth as pandemic paralyzes education sector

Uncertainty looms over youth as pandemic paralyzes education sector

Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, Kusum Panta, an undergraduate student at Golden Gate International College, would have already graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree around this time. He then he would have been following in the footsteps of his parents who attended the long-awaited Public Service Commission examinations.

As the first daughter of the family, Kusum has always found her dignity by serving the nation as a government official. But due to the ongoing pandemic and the lack of seriousness on the part of concerned government authorities, millions of young people like Kusum face uncertainty as the pandemic continues to paralyze the education sector.

Saugat Tamang, also a civil engineering undergraduate student at Khwopa Engineering College, currently attends online classes from his hometown of Sindhupalchowk. "Virtual classes have started but they are not as effective as physical ones," she complained. "Poor internet connectivity is the main problem and I have no idea when the normal days will be."

Sangey Hyolmo, a graduate student, recently received a scholarship to pursue a master's degree in Buddhist studies, but due to the pandemic, she was unable to enroll at the University of Delhi in India. "If everything was normal, I would have already been following my graduate course. Right now, I just hope this situation returns to normal as soon as possible," she said.

Nepal detected its first case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on January 24, 2020 and reported the first local transmission on April 4, 2020. For the first time, the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the further spread of COVID-19 on March 23, 2020, which was then further expanded. The employment sector, the education sector and the health sector are among many different sectors that were hit hard after the COVID-19 outbreak.

In recent days, the government has been conducting postponed exams at some undergraduate and graduate levels, but many are still awaiting notice from the Examinations Comptroller's Office.

Colleges and universities that have sufficient financial and technical resources are running online classes for their students, but those that lack those resources have recently started taking physical classes. Students greatly question the effectiveness of such classes. Due to the suspension of exams and the closure of schools and colleges for so long, starting a new academic session has been difficult for most academic institutions across the country.

However, educators argue that the country faces problems in the education sector more due to weak administration and planning than the pandemic itself. Dr. Bidya Nath Koirala, Head of the Department of the Central Department of Education at Tribhuvan University, blames the unwillingness of the governing body to bring about a radical change in the education sector behind the crisis in the sector. educational. "This kind of uncertainty can be seen over and over again until radical changes are made to our system," he added.

Students are deprived of education during this pandemic because our schools and education system lacked infrastructure and technologies, Koirala argues.

Adaptation to digital education was more fluid in countries with adequate access to technologies and the Internet, but now this has been much more challenging for countries like Nepal. The advance of technologies and the change of mentality of those who are in decision-making bodies are the real need to carry out reforms in the education sector.

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