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Semester system sees decline in students
By Manjima Dhakal
Kathmandu, June 22: Implementation of the semester system in Master’s degree programme at the Faculty of Education, Tribhuvan University, has put the programme at risk, thanks to a sharp decline in the number of students.
In every batch of annual system, the Faculty of Education used to enrol students no less than 2000. But under the semester system, the Faculty has never been able to enrol students more than 1000. In annual system, the Faculty of Education enrolled 3,276 students in 066\67 BS, 3,485 students in 67\68 BS and 2,470 students in 69\70 BS.
After the introduction of semester system, 893 students were enrolled in 70\71 BS and 559 in 71\72 BS. But their number increased to 720 in 72\73 BS but dropped to 430 in 074\075. In 075\76 BS only 355 students chose the faculty.
Out of 355 students in all 14 faculties in 075\76 batch, 260 students enrolled on only three subjects, namely English, Nepali and maths.
These students covered the 74 per cent of total enrolment. Of them, 106 students enrolled in English, 72 in Nepali and 82 students in mathematics.
However, less than 10 students enrolled in other seven departments, namely EPM, Curriculum, History, Political Science, Geography, Physical Education and Special Needs Education.
One student chose to study History, two Geography, three Political Science, four each in Physical Education and Curriculum, seven each in Education Policy and Management and Special Needs Education and seven in Economics.
Running any class with less than 10 students is against the TU Act. According to the provision, running classes in seven departments, where there are less than 10 students is illegal, said Deep Bahadur Adhikari, Department Head of the Faculty of Education.
One department at TU requires at least six lecturers and it doesn’t matter whether these a class of any particular department has been running in full capacity or has just one student, he said
"The faculty cannot close its door to a single student, because the faculty has to pay for the permanent teachers, no matter it has student or not," he added.
According to the data of TU, each TU teacher teaches 22 students on an average, but in some departments of Education, six teachers have been teaching less than six students. The basic standard for TU is 10 students for one faculty member.
The declining number of students in Education Faculty is not only the problem for the Central Department of Education. Other constituent Education campuses have also been facing similar problems.
Om Bahadur Rayamajhi, assistant campus chief of Sanothimi Multiple
Campus, informed that they had more than 500 students in each batch of annual system. But now in the semester system, they have only around 100 students in each batch.
Rayamajhi said the number of students had been sharply declining after the semester system made it mandatory for students to have at least 70 per cent attendance to appear in examination. He also added that students opted to join Humanities after the Faculty of Education introduced four-year bachelor’s degree while the Faculty of Humanities still runs three-year bachelors course. To save one academic year for similar degree, majority of students have enrolled themselves in humanities.
The students studying at the Education Faculty blamed the worse management for the declining number of students in its programmes.
Prem Chalaune, a third semester student of Nepali Department, said the faculty members are less sincere to their responsibility and poor management and poor result of students gave rise to the declining number of students.
The Dean Office recently published the results of the first semester nine months, though the students had been studying their third semester courses.
According to Chalaune, the pass percentage of his batch is only 39.
Though the TU introduced semester system with the aim of conducting examination in time, improving results of students and for overall better achievement, the Faculty of Education has totally failed to meet target, he added.