What’s the annual budget for public education in Nepal? Well, this year it’s 80 billion rupees – four times the budget for agriculture, almost three times the budget for health and – in fact – far above the budget for any other development sector in the country. Perhaps it’s not a big budget compared to the needs. But with this budget, all school children would at least have basic things like textbooks for their studies, right? Wrong. This year, tens of thousands of students began the school year without books.
barely 35 percent – and this year it’s not likely to get better. In the districts hardest hit by the earthquake, thousands of schools still lie in ruins – many students are left to study in tin shelters or under tarpaulins – and in the Terai, bandhs and unrest over the constitution have locked down many schools for months on end!Will this year’s SLC students have a better chance than, say, last year’s class? Well, it was always hard to get through the “Iron Gate”: 10th graders have had to struggle a lot – the pass rate is
In total, 662,185 students took the test but only 217,211 pulled through!These days our thoughts go out to Nepal’s young boys and girls who are about to face the SLC examination. Known as the “Iron Gate”, the examination is feared by thousands of youth every year – and for good reason. The odds of passing are simply poor. It’s not just that many of the students will get very low marks. No, most will not even pass. Last year, like in many previous years, only one-third of the SLC examinees made it.