Despite the increasing investment in education sector, students’ performance is deteriorating every year, according to a government report.
A study by Education Review Office (ERO) under the Ministry of Education shows that the learning achievement of eighth graders lowered significantly, especially of those students who attend public schools. Learning achievement is the performance of students in particular subjects which is measured taking 100 as the highest mark.
The study carried out among 44,067 students from 1,119 public and private schools from 28 districts shows that the average learning achievement of the students in Nepali subject is 48 percent, 35 percent in Mathematics and 41 percent in Science. The report shows the learning achievement went down by eight percent in Mathematics from 43 percent two years ago while the performance in Nepali decreased by one percent from 49. The students’ performance remained unchanged in Science, though.
The study also shows students from private and institutional schools did better than those from public schools. While the average achievement of students from public schools in Mathematics is 26, it is more than double (57 percent) for the students from private schools. Similarly, the learning achievement of students from public schools is 34 percent in Science while it is 57 percent for students attending private schools.
According to education experts, the study depicts the failure of teaching/learning system in public schools across the country. “Furthermore, this is the reflection of lack of subject teachers in public schools,” said Man Prasad Wagle, an education expert.
The report also shows the disparity in learning between boys and girls. Learning achievement in Nepali was equal between girls and boys, but it was different in Mathematics where it is 33 percent for girls and 38 for boys. In Science, the girls’ performance is 39 percent and 43 percent for boys.
In Nepali subject, students have problem writing. In Mathematics, students found Geometry and Algebra difficult while Biology proved the toughest course in Science.
The report also shows that urban students outperform the rural students in all subjects. Urban students achieved 57 percent in Nepali whereas it is only 45 percent for students studying in schools in rural parts of the country. Similarly, achievement gap between urban and rural students is more wider in Mathematics by 24 percent in which students from urban located schools achieved 59 percent. “The wide gap in the achievement level of students, schools, districts and regions indicate that there is an unequal distribution of educational opportunities to students,” said Lekhnath Poudel, chief at ERO.