I studied in Loyola School Kathmandu. And I credit a lot of what I am capable of today to my teachers then. But I distinctly remember how they taught in the same old punish, push and enforce strategy. Though they laid a strong foundation to a lot of the basics you need in life they missed out on a few things due to the rudimentary techniques. I was the school captain back then Leadership. I was a regular at extempore and debate contest – Public speaking and communication. And many more skills I picked up in school that has helped me throughout these years. Then I moved on to the +2 thingy where it all went downhill. This was the age of exploration and pushing boundaries. I was forced so much to sit and study the first 15 years of my life I turned around and ran the other way. I was super confident that I would pass all my exams and I normally did even if it was barely passing it. But did I really learn anything there. A BIG NO. Same was the case with my BBA years at white house college. College was where I went to have fun and I only enjoyed a few of my classes. I was a business student who hated everything about accounting. I wanted to do creative things like manage my band, organize concerts, record demos, etc. Real life was far-far away, still. Our exams would get postponed for months without notice. The Maoists were killing everyone daily. I was singing Refuse-Resist on stage with my band. I had no focus, confused and frustrated. I was Angry, without a clue at what? Then came the GO TO USA syndrome. Why? Because there was nothing to do here and everyone else was doing it anyways. It may seem like a boastful comment to make about own self but I was super pro-active compared to all my classmates who seemed either clueless or way to book smart than I was. I still do not know how to properly make a balance sheet. Does that mean I am a bad business student?
I loved doing what pleased me and I did it without much thought. I never fear anything and that’s what my disease probably is. Then without much goal I landed in America. And each day I stood on the American soil was a struggle. And a hard-fought struggle. When my parents told me to study and they paid my bills, I really did not want to do so. But when came a time where I had to wait tables 50 odd hours a week , pay all my bills and pay for my tuition my whole world turned upside down. Now my drive is different. I show up in classes at 7 am after getting home the previous night at 1 am. It makes me mad when I see American kids just disrespect the teachers for nothing much wrong on the teacher’s part really. It would really sadden me to the core when a student with student-aids and loans sent to their mail boxes would fall asleep in class or be texting on their fancy new phones. I remember my college algebra class probably in my third semester. It was mid-semester when finally I had the money to buy a new $120 scientific calculator. We learnt math the old-school way, with a pen-paper and some brain. I also remember some classes like philosophy, psychology and communication where I went through the course without a book.
A Song I wrote about being a Student in America
With this drastic change in my life I came to a new realization that I really did not want to study business. I discovered new things like Art, Sociology, Film making and more. More than a degree I wanted to learn and learn everything I could get my hands on. I studied art-history from a Korean teacher who had a master’s degree in Jazz Music. I took psychology classes and my teacher did not have us open the book even once in class. When learning about alcoholism and addictive behavior she brought in a recovering addict or alcoholic. When studying sexual behaviors and its impacts my classmate who was molested by her uncle for over a decade shared her experience. Tourette syndrome something I had never heard of. But when a super-model looking girl stood in front of us and started stuttering and cursing involuntarily my jaw dropped to the floor. Now I hate my finance class because it’s become absolutely boring to me.
When I see all these hoarding boards advertising to young people to leave this country , it really saddens me. It dismay me even more when I see the level of privatization and “businessification” that has crept into the education “industry” of Nepal. I sit at this coffee shop blogging about this topic because I overhear people from our neighboring country converse about huge universities being built-in the border towns soon. They are here to make money – not educate our young people. If you cannot afford to go to these universities they will willingly front you a hefty loan. They are creating this monster right in front of me and I feel a nut forming in my stomach.
Quality Education is the fundamental element missing in our society today. Education that is cheap affordable and available. Free would be fabulous.
Nepal has no shortage of fantastic minds. But all the brain-drain is caused due to lack of proper employment and stability. How wonderful would it be to have the Ministry of Education create an education reform program where they would slowly replace all old ready to retire government teachers with young graduates with a descent salary package and a pension plan?