KATHMANDU, July 7: In one year alone, more than 12 education fairs take place all around Kathmandu and all of them are particularly focusing on students furthering their education here or abroad.
Educational institutions also have been rapidly participating in the fairs, to attract students and also to make their life easier by coming together under one roof. But in the barrage of education fairs, are the students really at the benefiting end?
In our chitchat session, we contacted four students to talk about the issue. Jayanti Karki, 21, a recent graduate student of Bachelor’s in Social Work (BSW) from St. Xavier’s College; Ravi Kathet, 23, who’s looking forward to apply to schools abroad for his Master’s; and Dipandita Basnet, 19, and Pranita Nepal, 19, both first-year students of Development Studies at National College.
From L to R: Jayanti Karki, Pranita Nepal, Dipandita Basnet and Ravi Kathet
Why do you think so many young people visit the education fairs?
Jayanti: The fairs do have a few plus points. All the colleges come together, offer on-the-spot admissions and scholarships, among many other things, but full information is never provided.
Ravi: I think it’s a good place for us to gather information.
Pranita: We participated in one of the fairs representing our college, and the students who came there were basically +2 and SLC-pass students and they were just hanging out. They aren’t really serious when they visit stalls.
Dipandita: Some of them don’t have a clue what they want to study. They will eventually join wherever they have friends.
How helpful are the education fairs really?
Jayanti: I think they are quite helpful. Instead of going from one college to the other, and checking them out, everything is under one roof. It is cost- and time-efficient and we can explore more in the fairs.
Dipandita: And there are so many courses being offered in the education fairs. I think the students later should also visit the colleges they inquired with.
Pranita: I think they are helpful. But the negative aspect is that all colleges portray good images of themselves, which may not be true.
Ravi: I don’t really like the idea of education fairs because it’s more like an advertisement and, eventually, the students have to pay for it.
Do you think there are too many education fairs taking place?
Pranita: I think there are too many education fairs taking place and it is confusing the students. When we were volunteering in one of the education fairs, like I said earlier, the students were least interested in the courses being offered and the turnout wasn’t very good.
Jayanti: I think there are so many education fairs taking place that people are slowly losing interest in them.
Dipandita: Exactly. Instead, I think there should be one education fair, on a large scale, every year, and end it there.
Ravi: I think education fairs should take place now and then because the SLC, +2 and Bachelor’s all end at different times. Maybe to cater to them, we should have frequent education fairs.
How do you want to choose your University?
Ravi: Instead of visiting education fairs, I would rather search the web. It’s easier with the Internet nowadays.
Pranita: I would do that too. But for students not having much idea about study abroad or specific courses, I think the fairs help a lot to build a particular background.
Jayanti: I’ve been to education fairs and they’ve tried to brainwash me. I was looking for International Relations or Social Work for grad school but they wanted me to opt for Business. It’s easier to gather information there but, at the end, I guess it is the Internet.
What do you think should be added to the education fairs?
Jayanti: It shouldn’t be commercialized. Also, good universities from abroad should be invited to participate so we can get firsthand information.
Pranita: More than adding anything to the education fairs, students should be given full information and not partial. Also, students need to make their own choices and shouldn’t jump to conclusions right away.
Ravi: I think the fairs should be more informative and should be organized by one neutral organization. Perhaps the Ministry of Education?