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TU’s failure to stick to academic calendar leaves students at receiving end



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By Manjima Dhakal
Kathmandu, Dec. 5: Rabi Kiran Khadka, 3rd semester student of Masters of Arts in English at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, is fed up with the Tribhuvan University because of its inability to follow its academic calendar.
According to Khadka, he would have completed his thesis by now had the TU properly executed its calendar. After joining the first semester in December 2019, Khadka got a chance to sit for the final examinations only in February 2021, more than two years after his enrollment in the two-year course. The university has published the result of the examinations only recently, after 10 months, though it was supposed to do that within three months of the examinations.

That problem is not limited to the English Department; it is prevalent in most of the streams offered by the university. This time, it has even failed to follow its academic calendar of engineering and medical courses. Before this, the university enjoyed a reputation for holding the examinations and publishing results of the two technical streams in time.

Bibek Dhakal and Mukunda Adhikari used to be batch mates. Dhakal joined his Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering at TU-affiliated Thapathali Engineering Campus in 2016 while Adhikari joined Mechanical Engineering at the Kathmandu University (KU) in the same year. According to Dhakal, Adhikari has already worked for a year after graduation, because the KU conducted the examinations and published their result in time. But, Dhakal received his transcript only this week. Dhakal said, “I lost my precious one year because of the negligence on the part of the TU. Who will compensate for my loss?”

Likewise, the TU has yet to publish the results of Master’s second year of annual system even one year after the examinations, meaning that it cannot conduct new examinations for second year until they are published. Likewise, TU has yet to conduct the examinations of LLB first year even two years after the course began. These are only few examples, TU is unable to conduct its examinations and publish their results in time in virtually all faculties.

Ashok Thapa, deputy general secretary of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union associated with Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist), said many students faced social, mental and even economic pressure because of the negligence of the TU. Therefore, the TU needs to be serious about the implementation of academic calendar according to its commitment.

Though the TU has been making excuses of COVID-19-induced problems to evade the blame, the stakeholders of higher education blamed that it was a longstanding problem of TU existing long before the emergence of the pandemic. They blamed TU for not abiding by the academic calendar even in the age of Information Technology.
Dr. Bidhya Nath Koirala, an educationist, said students had become victimised for years and the image of the varsity was being tarnished due to the unwillingness of TU authorities to decentralise their responsibility. He accused the varsity of not wanting to change from its old ways.

Koirala added that the TU authorities had a predilection for telling us that they had been facing a hard time managing examinations and results as the varsity has far more campuses and students across the country than any other university. “But, all these can be well managed if it shares its responsibility with the province level.”
Dr. Kedar Bhakta Mathema, an educationist and a former Vice Chancellor of the TU, said that TU had been facing difficulty in running its programme because of its colossal structure. “Therefore, it would be in everyone’s interest, if we created more universities by breaking the TU’s big campuses.”

He added that during his tenure, he was able to announce the months when the examinations of particular subjects and levels would be conducted, despite struggling to follow the academic calendar strictly. He said that he might be able to maintain the calendar if he got a chance to run the TU as a vice chancellor for two more tenures. Mathema said they gave feedback to the varsity many times to make its large campuses autonomous, but they all fell on deaf ears.