“Study well until the 10th standard. After that, your life is set and no studies anymore!” It was such a false statement that most of us had to hear during our school days. Students, in fact, realize what pressure is only after their schooling is over. Breaks then no longer mean vacations and the deadly concept of entrance examinations sets in.
Contemporary educational standards determine the quality of a student based on his/ her alma mater. Consequently, being enrolled in a reputed institute has become paramount and this necessitates the clearance of entrance examinations.
Students these days put in a lot of effort for clearing the entrance examinations. Notwithstanding, their future remains largely uncertain. Failure to crack the entrance examinations is largely being deemed as the destruction of a student’s career.
What Colleges Have to Say about Entrance Examinations
Nisha Adhikari, a professor at the Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM), mentioned, “These days, institutes do not depend on a single sheet of test paper. Various other aspects like personality, communication skills, leadership abilities and interpersonal skills are also considered. These yardsticks have been globally adopted. No alternative system has been developed that has been proven better than the entrance examinations. Thus, we also have to follow it to pick the best brains.”
Adhikari added, “The entrance preparation courses actually orient students towards their future academic choices thus making them aware of the consequences of their selections. Thus, entrance preparation actually helps students take the right decisions in their career.”
There are many instances when students have regretted their choices after having cleared the entrance examinations and entering their desired institutes or courses.
With the increasing pressure of preparation for entrance examinations, we can see how the entrance preparation institutes are growing at a rapid pace. There are numerous institutes that charge students substantial fees in the name of entrance preparation.
Representatives from the Entrance Preparation Institutes Speak
Ram Chandra Gautam, the Managing Director of NIMS Institute for entrance preparation, said, “Very often, we come across students who do not have a definite goal or path in their lives and most of these students eventually end up unsuccessful. It is important to analyze what one wants to do and only after that should the entrance preparation start.”
Jeevan Lama Golay, the Managing Director of [email protected] consultancy, said, “There are very few reputed universities in Nepal and the number of seats at such universities and colleges is very limited. Due to the huge gap between the number of applicants and the number of seats, the competition in the entrance examinations has increased. This has resulted in enhanced business for the entrance preparation institutes.”
As the entrance preparation institutes continue mushrooming, the fundamental question remains. What is better? Self-study or institutional preparation?
Melisha Rajopadhyaya, the HR and Admin Officer at AlfaBeta Consultancy, said, “The major difference between self study and enrolling in a preparation institute is guidance. You are shown the correct path through trained experts in an institute. Moreover, the students usually enroll themselves in institutes subject to the influence of friends.”
Golay added, “Self-study might be efficient but in order to do so, you require a large number of books. Instead, you get all the content you need in the entrance preparation institutes with the minimum expenditure.”
However, with the World Wide Web touching all of our lives and making the flow of information extremely easy, students do not necessarily need to buy books or join institutes. They can prepare themselves without any substantial expenditure.
The Correct Mode of Preparation
Golay contradicted self-study and said, “Internet may have simplified the availability of information. Nevertheless, it does not have the capacity to motivate students to prepare for the entrance examinations. Entrance preparation institutes push students to dedicate time and effort for the preparation.”
Entrance examinations are increasingly being considered as a life and death question. Failure in the entrance examinations are being equated with life failure.
Adhikari blamed the government for this. She explained, “We can see how government institutes like Tribhuvan University have some eight thousand applicants. In this case, the likelihood of a student failing in the examination is very high thus putting into risk the future of 7,500 students.”
She added, “The government should take these aspects into consideration and thus establish new quality educational institutions. Entrance examinations should be competitive but not such that it leads to such a chaos.”
Gautam added, “A failure in entrance examination cannot be considered as a life failure. There are various other areas that a student can get himself/ herself involved into even if he/ she fails in the entrance examination. This failure can rather be taken positively by considering it as an honest and appropriate assessment of one’s skills and abilities.”
Thus, entrance examinations today have not only become a way to filter the best students but have also become a major source of business for educational entrepreneurs.
Reporting by Mahima Poddar, Glocal Khabar Special Correspondent, Kathmandu, Nepal