As we pass the much awaited ‘Iron Gate’, we enter a world which is full of opportunity and choices. Presently in Nepal, we have three different types of curriculum that students can choose from with all three having their pros and cons. +2, IB or A levels - what is your choice after SLC?
Ten + Two
The rigid curriculum is supposed to make the student more focused on their careers right from the beginning.
Karma Pakhrin, 18
11, Himalayan White House International College
Why +2?
+2 is a system that has been running successfully in Nepal from a long time. There are other courses like A Levels as well but they are new and are yet to be trusted. So, I went for +2 to pursue my after-SLC education.

This is a curriculum developed by Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) and is associated with the Government of Nepal. The fields available in “+2” are Science, Commerce and Humanities. The Humanities field offers Sociology, Rural Economics, English and Nepali. In Science, you don’t only have to study Chemistry, Physics and Biology but you also have Botany and Zoology. Along with this, you need to study Math during the first year of the course and it becomes optional for the second year of the +2 Science course. In Commerce, you need to study Accounts, Economics, Math and Business Studies with Nepali and English.

The curriculum is more on the theory side, which makes it more examination oriented. The total course is of 24, weeks where each subject gets about 8 to 9 hours per week. The admission starts right after the SLC results and you will be made to take an entrance examination as well with your results. The forms are distributed just after SLC while the classes usually start in July. Most of the students that are willing to take this type of curriculum are usually future doctors, engineers and CAs. The rigid curriculum is supposed to make the student more focused on their careers right from the beginning.

Since the +2 curriculum is purely Nepali, it has to depend on the Government of Nepal. The invigilators of the examination and the copy correctors all come from the government. The exams usually happen during May and the best part about the examination based result is that even if you do not do well during the first year you will automatically be promoted to grade 12 and you can still give the papers of 11. This curriculum is entirely Nepal-based; the courses are designed such that it helps a student learn more about their own country.
Information provided by Golden Gate International College, Battisputali.

A-level students have the opportunity to choose subjects even though the fields might clash.
Akash Shrestha, 19
AS, Lumbini International College
Why A Levels?
A Levels is a course designed and conducted by Cambridge University and is recognized in more than 160 countries. After completing my A Levels, I can go to anywhere in the world and study under any faculty. A Levels is a more advanced course in comparison with +2 and the learning is very practical.

A-levels course is affiliated to Cambridge University, UK. It has gained popularity amongst Nepali students because in A-levels, the student does not really have to go through courses that they do not feel like studying. Even though the courses available in the UK have much more variety, quite a selection is on offer from the British Council and numerous colleges here. A-level students have the opportunity to choose subjects even though the fields might clash. They are able to take Economics, Biology and Chemistry at the same time or take one subject from each field like Chemistry, Sociology and Business Studies. New subjects such as Environmental Management, Psychology, Geography and Tourism have recently been introduced.

The A levels course is of 2 years where examination are held twice a year-during May and October. Students studying A-levels have the opportunity to sit for exams for the entire two years’ course at once, at the end of A-levels or they can give their board examinations at the end of the year. If the student gives his/her examination during May and cannot score as much as they wanted, they can give the exam again in October. This way, without wasting time, they are given a second chance to get better grades. Another good thing about A-levels is that you can choose for how long you want to take a course. Even if you have all the science subjects, it is not necessary that you need to take them for the whole two years. If one subject of the science field doesn’t feel right you can always take it for the first year and continue with the other two.

This course is popular in the UK and it tests your real ability to grasp the concepts that you study. The grading system starts from As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Es to Us (where U stands for an UNGRADED paper). From 2010 they have also started giving A*s which is better than A.
Information provided by Trinity International College, Dillibazaar

The IB courses are designed in 6 groups and students are expected to take at least one subject from each group.
Why IB?
Anjan Sharma
tells us that he feels IB is a curriculum that is more student friendly. After his SLC when he was trying to figure out what to do, IB was more appealing because he felt that the subjects and the way it is taught is more practical. It isn’t focused on one particular field and in addition to this it is widely known outside of Nepal.

International Baccalaureate is a curriculum which is not focused on one type of board. It is known as a global curriculum. The IB courses are designed in 6 groups and students are expected to take at least one subject from each group. Each group consists of different fields like Language and Science to Business Management to Anthropology and Arts.

Aside from the subject choices, the students have core requirements to fulfill. These core requirements are Theory of Knowledge (TOK) where students are expected to research independently on one subject matter and have an in depth study on that particular subject. The next core requirement is the extended essay, which is designed for students to critically reflect on the subjects that they have studied and write an essay of about 4000 words. This extended essay is usually written in the break of year one and year two.  The third requirement is Creativity, Action and Service where students go beyond the classroom to gain knowledge and handle different types of real life tasks.

The students are required to take the IB examinations at the end of two years. It is a written examination and the students at least need to gain 24 out of 42 (6 subject having a maximum score of 7).  30% of its score is attained internally by the teachers and the rest 70% is tested during the written examination.

International Baccalaureate is a course which has now been recognized internationally. It is a mixed course (not focused within one country) and is only provided in Nepal at Ullens. Most of the students that opt for this Diploma Programme at Ullens, go to universities outside for Undergraduate Studies. Many colleges abroad prefer IB students because the IB course is a great model of what you do at college as well.
Information provided by Ullens School,  Satdobato