Education without ethics is meaningless
One-day seminar organized by Modern Kannya
Multiple College (MKMC) and FES
8 March 2017 (Kathmandu)
Prepared by Ritu Raj Subedi
Nepal has witnessed both qualitative and quantitative growth of
educational institutions. The education system has not only been
modernized but also commercialized. But, the public education
is in the doldrums despite the investment of huge amount of money.
Of course, the private education has quality but is out of the
reach for the ordinary beings. This has led to the production
of two classes of citizens - one taught in the private schools
and colleges, and another in government schools and campuses.
This has implanted structural inequality among the people from
the very beginning. Another vexing issue is that there is no guarantee
of job even after completing studies either in the private or
This is a bitter reality facing the young Nepalese today. But
there are other issues that need to be dealt promptly. Commercialization
of education has invited myriad anomalies in the sector. The
study of social sciences and humanities has declined. Today,
there is little attraction for the study of history, culture,
geography and political sciences because they do not offer good
prospect for job. Neither the government has brought any scheme
to promote these subjects. This has also become good pretext
for the private educational institutions to give short shrift
to them. Although education is the key to the overall empowerment
of people and development of society, the neglect of social
science and humanities has weakened the moral foundation of
education. Devoid of normative values, education can't instill
moral sense into the minds of citizens. Thus, it is necessary
to integrate the elements of discipline, culture and morality
into the teaching and learning process for the overall development
of the country.
This view was resonated at a seminar "Culture and Education:
Need of Young Women," held in Kathmandu on the occasion
of International Women's Day. The speakers called for skill-oriented
education for young women to prove their mettle in a competitive
market. Seminar was divides into two parts - opening and technical
sessions. The views of the key speakers, paper presenters and
participants are as follows:
Former chief justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyay said that he was
encouraged to see the progress of women who were marching hand
in hand with their male counterpart. It takes time for good
things to happen but it does not take a long time for bad things
to occur. We have to nurture positive thinking and optimistic
vision. The women had brighter days ahead in Nepal as they have
attained significant gains in recent decades.
Former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University Shankar Raj
Pathak said that Nepal should focus on the service sector -
education, health and tourism - to create jobs and earn foreign
currency as Nepal had little comparative advantage in the field
of manufacturing at present. Resources are not precondition
for development but it is the political will, transport and
communications, skill, education, energy and discipline can
help transform the society. Japan is a good example of this
kind. Education without self-awareness and morality has no meaning.
Dev Raj Dahal, FES Nepal Office Head
Civic education is an education about enlightenment to create
an awakened citizen and human being (jagrat nagarik). Nepal
distills three traditions of enlightenment springing from three
sources: Vedic (pre-religious), Janak (spiritual) and Buddha
(rationalist). Discourses formed in the public places became
a source of knowledge and public policy. All these civic traditions
seek to remove dualism in human thinking and sought the harmony
of human life and activities. Modern civic education aims at
transforming the pre-political identity of people into sovereign
citizens through socialization, mobilization, communication,
territorialization, politicization and moralization. It also
seeks to induct youth into a modern, rationalistic civic culture.
Agencies of socialization are mediating structures between individuals
in their private life and the larger institutions of national
life. These mediating structures also help acculturate youth
into constitutional patriotism and cosmopolitism embedded in
international laws. A sense of international justice in political,
economic and social life is important to overcome Nepali youths'
attraction to unconventional politics- consumerism, frustration,
migration, apathy, social movements and conflict.
Citizenship implies the membership of political community called
state. This membership stands above individual's membership
of youth with family, civil society, political parties, market
institutions and interest-based associations. Only active citizenship
can make the political leadership accountable, strengthen the
state and abolish hereditary privileges in public life and public
policy. An empowered citizen requires multiple capacities in
several realms such as cognitive (knowledge and life experience),
social (intimate sphere of family, neighborhood, religion, etc.),
economic (production and exchange) and political (voice, visibility
and representation in public political sphere) and a connection
with national territoriality. Rekindling the spirit of civic
education is both essential and a realistic hope for the renewal
of democratic politics in Nepal. Civic competence alone can
emancipate youths from false consciousness and prepare them
for peaceful change to respond to the rapidly changing division
of labour and the spirit of the age.
Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Mahesh Prasad
Dahal said that the ministry had launched an array of schemes
to ensure inclusive gender equality and tap the potential of
youths into the nation building. Without the women empowerment,
overall development is impossible.
Former minister Laxman Ghimire said that the Vedic era witnessed
equal intellectual and social status between the men and women,
but later this tradition came to an end with the rise of various
anomalies that discriminated women in the family and society.
We need to rekindle our ancient enlightened tradition and knowledge
to fight against the anomalies besetting the society today.
The gist of Professor Dr Bina Paudel's paper 'Culture and
Education: Need of Young Women'
Many traditions and customs have been imposed on women in the
name of culture. Anomalies in the guise of culture have been
stumbling block to the women empowerment. Myriad of social bondages
need to be broken. Earlier daughters were provided better education
so that she would find good husbands. Now the parents think
education as necessary tool to make daughter stand on her own
feet. Socio-economic and political transformations are necessary
for the overall development of women. This requires that men
should change their behaviour and mindset, too. The mentality
that without the support of men, the women can't make great
strides in any sphere of life should be changed. The men, who
have been enjoying the backing of culture, religion and laws,
should realise that their counterpart, the women, should equally
be capable to steer the society through the path of progress
and prosperity. Even by providing reservation, the women should
be encouraged to race along with the men. The development of
women is also the development of men. When a woman becomes educated,
the entire family becomes educated. This truth needs to be embraced
by the men. Women should be given opportunities on a par with
their male counterpart. Both men and women should change their
mindset. Compared to a large number of uneducated women, if
a few number of educated men prepares themselves, gender parity
will not out of the reach.
Gorkhapatra Corporation general manager Sushil Koirala comments
Nepal has its own glorious history of women's movement. It
should mark women's day in recognition of the struggles of Yog
Maya Neupane, who drowned herself in the roaring Arun River
along with 58 people about a century ago. Culture of any society
is measured by the education, status and dignity of women. In
order to create a cultured family and society, women should
be educated. It is high time the programmes aimed at uplifting
the women should be strictly implemented and monitored.
The gist of Rupa Khadka's paper 'the presence of women in
education and communications'
In Nepal, women education formally started with the 'Basic
Primary Education' launched by Gangabai, who came from India
and lived at Thamel of Kathmandu during the time of Rana Prime
Minister Bir Shumsher. When the Rana Prime Minister Dev Shumsher
opened girl colleges in different places, they played an important
role in promoting women education. The SLC Board was formed
in 1990 BS in which 33 boys and one girl named Sabina Kumari
Devi filled up forms for the SLC examination but she did not
attend the exams. Girls had access to English education after
Padma Shumsher established girl colleges in 2004 BS. In 2028
BS, the National Education Plan was devised. It was supposed
to have brought a revolutionary change in the education field.
Following the advent of multiparty democracy, various commissions
and mechanisms came into existence that significantly contributed
to women education.
Today Nepal is ahead of many advanced nations in terms of gender
inclusion. Women comprise 29 per cent in the parliament that
puts Nepal in 48th position in the representation of women in
the parliament. The ADB has termed Nepal as 'leader' when it
comes to the women representation in the various organs of sate.
However, the presence of Nepalese women in the field of journalism
is not rosy. Women's first involvement in Nepali journalism
began with the publication of 'Women,' a Nepal bhasa monthly
under the editorship of Sadhana Pradhan and Kamaksha Devi in
2008 BS. Likewise, Priyambada Sharma had started publishing
'Prabha' monthly in the same year. Kunti Devi, editor of 'Pratibha'
monthly and Rama Devi, editor of 'Janabikas' were some early
women journalists. Following the 1990 political change, there
has been quantitative and qualitative growth of women journalism.
Still the number of women journalists is far fewer than their
male counterpart. Of the total working journalists, women constitute
around 25 per cent. They face various types of problems. Their
remuneration is very poor and they do not get their salary in
time. In some cases, they fail to receive salary. They are forced
to shift their profession owing to paltry salary, lack of environment
at workplace and home, and education. It is high time the state
and the concerned stakeholders took special initiatives to attract
women to the field of journalism. Awareness programmes, training
and economic support are necessary. Journalism is the most effective
forum to raise voice for the gender parity and create a violence-free
Commenting on her paper, senior journalist Rajendra Dev Acharya
said that it sheds light on the history of women journalism
as per timeline and contains treasure of facts and data, trend
and the way forward to boost women participation in the field.
Inner vigilance, skill and qualification were a prerequisite
for being a good journalist. However, one needs to be careful
not to classified journalists into groups.
Principal of Modern Kannya Multiple College Sagun Pokharel
said that education was a powerful means for better survival.
Nikita Katawal, a student of the college, said that many young
women suffered from depression and finally committed suicide
as their academic qualification failed to give them a good job.
Chief of Kannya Multiple College Ram Prasad Dahal underlined
the need for linking employment with education. It is necessary
to forge unity among the women themselves for their own development.
Despite progress in the field of women empowerment, the women
must focus on building their capacity. He summed up the conclusion
of seminar in the following sentences:
1. Promote civic education and its values
2. Forge unity among women
3. Become conscious of rights and duties, Loktantrik values
and essence of civic education
4. Respect senior citizens and own culture and tradition.
5. Enhance capacity and strive for environment friendly situation
6. Join hands to do away with misconceptions and superstitions
7. Link education with job creation