Nepal's education system has been facing criticism, as merely 41.57 percent of students passed the School Leaving Certificate (SLC), or known as the "iron gate" in Nepal, to become eligible for obtaining higher education.
According to Office of the Controller of Examination, a government body mandated to hold the SLC, out of the 511,165 students taking part in the 2012 SLC, only 176,253 passed the examination akin to the academic qualification (GCE) in Britain.
"The drop in the SLC pass percentage by more than 25 percent in just five years is a failure of the entire education mechanism," education expert Man Prasad Wagle said at a recent interaction organized to review the weaknesses of Nepal's education system.
The SLC is the final examination in the secondary school system of Nepal that takes place every year. Students will be unable to join colleges and universities for higher education unless they pass the examination.
The rise in the number of students failing in the examination means a rise in the number of unemployed young people in the country, experts warned, calling for a serious reform of the country's education system.
Besides, many students even reportedly commit suicide for failing in the SLC every year. This year alone, four local students were reported to have committed suicide after failing to pass the examination.
The significant number of students failing in the examination also has raised questions about the efficacy of government investment in the education sector.
According to the authorities, SLC results are the main indicator to gauge the outcome of investment in the education system. To reduce the number of illiterate people, the Nepal government has heavily invested in the education system.
Budgetary funds allocated by the government to the sector has more than doubled in the last five years -- from 27 billion rupees (290.3 million U.S. dollars) in 2006-07 to 63.91 billion rupees ( 687.2 million U.S. dollars) in 2012-13.
Another expert Bidhya Nath Koirala said that "teachers' negligence" is one factor for the degrading education system in the country. "Teachers have failed to deliver as per the students' needs," he said, adding that the situation will not improve unless teachers become responsible in their classrooms.
According to Nepal's Census Report 2011, overall literacy rate (for population aged five years and above) stood at 65.9 percent, up from 54.1 percent in 2001, with male and female literacy rate at 75.1 percent and 57.4 percent, respectively.