Education Structure in Nepal
Education in Nepal was long based on home-schooling and Gurukulas. The first formal school (Durbar School), established by Jung Bahadur Rana in 1853, was intended for the elite. The birth of Nepalese democracy in 1951 opened its classrooms to a more diverse population. Education in Nepal from the primary school to the university level has been modeled from the British Education System, but now American System is getting popular.
In 1918, formal higher learning in Nepal began with the establishment of Tri-Chandra College, the first college in the country. Tribhuvan University, which was established in 1959, is the oldest university in Nepal. In terms of enrollment, it is the 12th largest university in the world. There are eleven universities now including public and private universities where Kathmandu University was the first private university and was established in 1990. There are thousand above colleges affiliated to both private and public universities, and they are providing higher education in Nepal.
The need and demand for accreditation has arisen because of rapid growth in the number and variety of HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) and programs since the 1990s in Nepal. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has launched the Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAA) program as an important aspect of reform in higher education in Nepal. Accordingly, a Quality Assurance and Accreditation Committee (QAAC) has been formed for the development and implementation of QAA activities in higher education in Nepal in 2007. The QAA Division in UGC has been established to facilitate QAAC and to perform regular activities related to QAA of Higher Education Institution (HEI).
Pre-primary education is available in some areas, and students usually begin grade one at age five or six. Primary education in Nepal called Basic Education consists of grades one through eight. Secondary Education is from grades nine to twelve. A district level examination of Basic Level Examination (BLE) is given on grade eight while a national Secondary Education Exam (SEE) examination is conducted at the end of grade 10, while completing the Grade 12 examination leads to the School Leaver’s Certificate. The National Examinations Board (NEB) supervises all BLE, SEE and 12th grade exams.
University Education leads successfully to the degrees of Bachelor, Master and Doctor (PhD). Depending upon the educational stream and degree subject, a Bachelor’s Degree may require as much as three to five years of study, but four years is the typical duration now. Some universities offer M. Phil. and post-graduate diplomas.
Vocational education begins after finishing Basic Education Grade Eight or Secondary Education Grade Ten. CTEVT currently is imparting technical education and vocational training to produce medium or semi-skilled manpower in the country. This institution conducts short and long-term training programmes in different technical fields, based on the courses it has designed, to produce health assistants, junior agriculture and veterinary science assistants, pharmacists, lab technicians, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, computer operators and human resource for the hotel industry. Universities also offer professional and technical degrees.