Motivation measures are important to better the
quality of university education in
[Dr. Teiji Watanabe, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of
Environmental Earth Science,
is an inspiring personality to all Nepali students in
. Dr Watanabe, Alpine Geomorphologist and Geoecologist, a
doctorate, has long attachment with
through research and supervising students in the field of geomorphology and
geoecology of the Nepal Himalayas. Three Nepali students have already completed
their Masters degree with him. Currently one postdoctoral fellow and two PhD
are working with him, and one more postdoctoral fellow and a postgraduate
student are joining Dr Watanabe this year. Besides Nepali students 7 Japanese
students completed their research (one full research and 6 short-term) for their
masters thesis addressing issues of
under his guidance. Two Japanese students were enrolled at
. He spoke to our chief editor Dr Krishna H Gautam on his accomplishments in
1. What made you attract to
Japanese professors working on the Himalayan issues including Professor
introduced me with Professor Jack Ives of
(at that time
). When I was
working for my PhD at the
, Professor Ives
asked me whether I would be interested to conduct research in
for my thesis. Being a Japanese, I was excited with his proposal and
immediately agreed. Accordingly I visited
in 1987 as a student, and pursued my research in Langtang.
Later I have also been researching in other high altitude areas, such as
Kanchanjanga, Mt Everest.
Being a professional from a developed world, how do you feel to work in
Exciting place, it is completely different
. But rural landscape and
houses look like 30-years-ago
. It is really nice to stay in rural
area. When I see the rural landscapes in
, I recall my village when I was five years old.
Many Japanese find similar experiences. They love to walk in
and wanted to do environment, nature conservation works. Local people are very
friendly and helpful.
As you had a long professional involvement in
how do you view
There are many
good things. I am satisfied with the performance of the projects I was involved.
The best part of my involvement has been in arriving the memorandum of
understanding (MOU) between
. Two institutes, Institute of science and technology and graduate
are involved. Main part of this is on student exchange programme. The programme
has been very effective, and we could get more students in government
each of 3 years, have been nearly completed. Next term should start in this
October. Deans of both institutes have agreed, and now finalising the MOU
document. I look forward involving more in materializing the MOU.
had some logistic problems in the past. We did encounter some problems while
importing some latest equipment. As it involved a huge amount of import duties
and lengthy procedures, we had to use small and relatively old equipment, which
are not as efficient and reliable as the latest ones.
For the last
few years, the growing insurgency in
has created serious problem, and we are not able to do much during this period.
This is very sad and slowed down the development.
How do you view the professional commitments among Nepali professionals in your
Professors are talent and hold degree and training from overseas. They are
qualified and competent. But their working environment is not that motivating.
Mainly they are lacking resources for research, such as equipment and fund.
Their salary is not enough. The situation is that they have to work in low
salary, old equipments and no research fund. So the results have not been
encouragingly good, and in fact affecting young, the unfortunate students, who
are the big resources for nation development.
In your experience, what are required to improve the working conditions?
responsibility of improving education system lies not only within the education
sector but also under the political arena. Although a huge amount of foreign aid
is pouring in
, the efficient use of such amount has been questionable in time and again.
Political commitment is the prime factor, as the political decision influences
the allocation. Donors have to show their concerns whether the funds are
allocated appropriately or not. Moreover, they should direct the government to
put more development funds to education sector.
Any suggestions for betterment of
education sector is prime in producing responsible citizens, efforts are needed
to focus on education for their moral bust up. Then the effects could be seen in
all sectors in the long run.