Revisiting Research Practices in Nepal: My Reflection
Maheshwor Rijal, KU
There are several issues related to testing and evaluation in our education system in Nepalese context. Some of those include carelessness in marking systems, delay in examination results, abolishment of entrance exams, habit of reading guess- papers and designing question papers. As a student of Kathmandu University, I accomplished different practical assignments. The educational standards of Kathmandu University (KU) have broadened my horizon of thinking, particularly in terms of almost all the aspects of testing and evaluation including general principle of testing, evaluating test item, designing and conducting test, alternative approaches to students’ evaluation and so forth. However, there are some issues related to testing and evaluation which touched my heart and I have made an attempt to explore current realities of testing particularly research assessment through this blog entry. I believe that my reflective understanding will be one of the lessons for improving and minimizing aforementioned issue allowing conducive environment for learning.
A couple of months ago, while I was busy in finalizing the first draft of my research proposal for my supervisor, one of my friends came into my study room. Observing my hard work and time I was putting into my research proposal endeavor, he was amazed to see piles of reference books on educational researches and EFL pedagogy. We had a long tea-talk until I came to know my friend’s secret suggestion to purchase a ready-made thesis paper. “Oh my God, What a terrific and shameful crime!” I replied to his suggestion. On hearing that, all of my enthusiasms and vigor were gradually going down and down.
Some days later, while I was on my way to Tribhuvan University to search for reference materials in the library, I saw an advertisement of thesis writing services, which was an utter surprise to me. The ad was pasted in the electric pools and walls with contact address and phone numbers of the service provider. It read;
“Available!! Available!!! Thesis of M.A. M.Ed. only for 7000 rupees”
The fact that was more astonishing to me was the contact number of the advertiser explicitly printed on the ad. I moved with my camera and captured the photos of those ads hanging on the electric-posts. I could realize the disgraceful and pitiable fate that is waiting ahead of us. Who is responsible for this? Where is law and order to stop this kind of sinful business? Then, what is the value of testing and evaluation? Such kinds of questions are roaming in my mind even now.
In Kathmandu University, I learned that a research should aim at transforming a society towards further progress. If so, can this type of activity really contribute to the debunking of the existing myth of the society? It is difficult to believe how education can be an efficient instrument for reshaping the quality of the individual, society, and nation at large. I was overwhelmed and stressed even though I am carrying out on my research activities very seriously. Based on my observation and experience, I have found there is no reading habit developed among the youths. Majority of them nowadays hardly go to libraries since majority of them are habituated to pass exams without rigorous studies.
Making educational and intellectual exercises profit oriented cottage industries like selling the thesis is undoubtedly a criminal act. These kinds of crimes should be identified as sharp indicators of overall social degradation, particularly among intellectual circle of the society. Such activities will have negative backwash in teaching and learning. There will certainly be no value of testing and evaluation in terms of dissertation writing and other types of examinations. Unless these heinous and deplorable activities are stopped, there will be no efficiency, validity and reliability of testing, assessment, and evaluation. It will generally affect entire education system.
The famous leader Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which can use to change the world”. Does such issue of testing and evaluation prevailing in our education system be the powerful or destructive weapon to change our society?
It is high time the concerning authorities need pay attention to the prevailing issue or it will adversely affect the whole education system; input, process and output at large.