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‘Iron Gate’ no more

By Our Reporter

The government has finally scrapped the practice of taking the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exams for the 10 graders from this year. With the endorsement of the Education Act (Amendment Bill) 2072 by the Legislature Parliament, the practice of taking the SLC exams has ended in 72 years. The first SLC exam was taken in Nepal in 1934 (1990 BS). Since then getting through the SLC exam, which was nicknamed as ‘iron gate’, was a must to obtain higher education. It is called ‘iron gate’ as the pass percentage in this exam has always been smaller than the ‘fail’ percentage. And SLC was the basic academic qualification to get the job of school teachers and clerks. Now onward the SLC exams will be held for the 12 graders.
According to amendment, the schools of Nepal will be categorized into two groups—basic and secondary schools. The basic schools will have 1 to 8 classes while the secondary schools will run 9-12 classes in place of exiting three-tier school system of primary, lower secondary and secondary. Hence now the schools will be running 1-12 classes, which until now were running classes 1-10. The Act has also scrapped the provision of higher secondary schools which were running classes 11-12 as theses classes are, according to new Act, included in school system. Interestingly, the government has a plan to provide free education up to grade 12, which is highly praiseworthy work. Until now the students have to pay hefty fee to enroll on courses of grade 11 and 12 in the mushrooming colleges. The new provision of including 11 and 12 classes in school system will discourage the commercialization of education as many business-minded people have been running only grades 11 and 12 in their institutions with the sole intention of making fast buck.
The amended act has also decided to farewell the temporary teachers through ‘golden handshake’ scheme according to which the temporary teachers willing to retire will get attractive incentives based on their service period. For example the teachers serving for 20 years or more will get the salary of 30 months if they want to quit the job.

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