Government sets criteria for internal evaluation of SEE students. Public schools say it’s impossible to meet them.

Prasun Sangroula

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: Last week, the National Examination Board (NEB) released a directive for the evaluation, publication and verification of marks secured by Secondary Education Examination (SEE) students.

The directive states that the formative evaluation consists of 20 marks and summative evaluation 55, and the remaining 25 marks will be submitted by individual schools under the ‘practical’ heading. For subjects without practicals, the 75 marks will be followed for calculating the total of 100 marks.

In formative evaluation, areas such as attendance, homework, social work, discipline and sanitation, and extracurricular activities each hold two marks. Likewise, classwork and project work each carries three marks and lastly unit tests hold four marks. Similarly, in summative evaluation, the first term examination carries eight marks, second term 12, third term 15 and last term 20 marks.

The government has instructed the schools to submit the evaluated marks within 4th of July. But many public schools across the country do not meet a majority of criteria set by the government. Most of them are in the dark about just how to evaluate the students’ marks, educational experts and schoolteachers say. 

Unlike private schools, a majority of public schools did not provide online classes during the lockdown, rendering many of the criteria set by the government null.

Dambar Pokharel, principal at Mangalmaya Higher Secondary, Jhapa said 

“It has been very challenging for us to evaluate the marks of students,” Dambar Pokharel, headmaster at Jhapa-based Mangalmaya Higher Secondary, told Nepal Live Today. “For a school like ours which operated for just five months, it is impossible to fulfill all those criteria.”

Unlike private schools, a majority of public schools did not provide online classes during the lockdown, rendering many of the criteria set by the government null.

According to Pokharel, for formative evaluation, his school is evaluating the marks on the basis of data that is acquired during five months of its operation. Similarly, for summative evaluation, it is evaluating the marks on the basis of an internal exam of 60 marks that occurred once during the entire session. The school has turned to past records of students to make the evaluation more valid.

Dang-based Shree Secondary School has a similar case, informs Principal Samjhana Sharma, adding that the school hasn’t completed teaching the course. Shree Secondary could manage to hold only one internal exam while the directive mandates four. 

The above-mentioned schools are just representative cases. According to the Economic Survey of Nepal (2020), only 12% of public schools across the country offered internet-based classes. 

The inability to meet the criteria of an evaluation has posed a question on the impartiality of the internal evaluation system.

On May 31, the government had decided to issue SEE certificates through internal evaluation conducted by respective schools. The examinations scheduled for May 21 were postponed indefinitely as the pandemic showed no sign of subsiding. This year, a total of 5,15,000 students were ready to appear for the SEE.

Educationists have expressed concerns on the fairness and efficacy of the internal evaluation system since when the decision was announced.

“Although the practice of internal evaluation has proven to be effective across the world, there are doubts regarding their efficacy and fairness in Nepal since our education system doesn’t have a proper mechanism on how to evaluate the students’ merits,” Bidhya Nath Koirala, former head at Department of Education at Tribhuvan University, told Nepal Live Today. “There is no mechanism with us that verifies the marks awarded by teachers are fair.”

This will affect the students’ ability as they advance to higher grades, Koirala added. “Students who have just taken the class for a couple of months with an incomplete course will have a hard time coping up with the course in higher grades,” he said.