I am writing a brief summary about the discussion meeting held at Public Service Commission, Anamnagar that I attended on March 05, 2010. Though the program was scheduled for 2 pm, as usual it took place only after about an hour at 3 pm due to low number of participants who have arrived. This has become quite a characteristic of being a Nepali and we somehow take this very easily. It makes me realize repeatedly how neglectful we are about the value of time and unfortunately, it might be the wasting of time of those who do understand and care. I am a person who does not like to wait and also does not like to make others wait. I prefer the clock time to other time senses such as a cultural one like ours. It has become a norm to do things later, reach late and also procrastinate. That’s why a task that can be done within a day takes more than a week or so.
21 persons (psychology professionals teaching at Tribhuvan University, Tri Chandra Campus, PK Campus, RR Campus and working in various organizations and students) participated in the lively discussion on what could be done to uplift the field of psychology in our country. At first, there were only 15 persons participating in the discussion and after about an hour, 6 more people joined in.
It happened that 2 meetings had been held previously focused on this same matter. This was the first time so many people participated in the discussion meeting. Many came with the help of information received from Psychology Network email sent by Narayan Sir (see: Psychology Network||227||).
All the participants seemed very enthusiastic and happy about the meeting because these kinds of interaction and discussion program happen only once in a blue moon. It has become our habit not to meet and not to talk with the significant others in our field. This has been maintaining a wide field of communication gap between the people who are into this field. Psychology Network emerged more than a year ago with a sole purpose to fill this gap and connect people and make COMMUNICATION happen.
In the program, I expressed my opinion that the communication process is like a blood circulation in our body that keeps us alive and functional. In the same way, if we want to develop our field, really want it to grow mature and bear the fruits in the future then, the continuous and ongoing communication is must. As the saying goes, “Science is dead without publication”, similarly, our field has the probability of coming to halt without communication. I am very satisfied that Psychology Network has been continually functional and acting as a mechanism through which interested people connect and communicate.
Ashok Kumar Jha, senior psychologist from Public Service Commission facilitated the discussion meeting. Mr. Jha is a senior psychologist in the government post whose responsibility lies in the personnel s3elction for the work force in the government office and agencies. I had never heard about him like he said he had never heard about Nepalese Psychological Association before. It was very nice to get know one more psychologist from Nepal. He informed us that there are altogether 5 posts for the psychologists in Public Service Commission who has an academic background in Organizational psychology and psychological testing.
The main concerned raised by almost all the participants in the meeting was that there is no psychology-related association active in Nepal right now which can speak for the recognition, rights, and betterment of Psychology on behalf of professionals related to this field.
One of the central matters discussed in the meeting was the existence of Nepalese Psychological Association (NPA). Many expressed their concerns that NPA has remain defunct since a long time and if we and the board of NPA are willing and really committed for the development of Psychology in Nepal then, we all should work together to help NPA to recompose itself, include all the interested people in the association and work for their benefits. Some participants were also contemplating about the possibility of establishing another new association if the need arises. It was also stressed that such association would not be formed as a rival association but as a complementary partner to create the atmosphere of co-operation. However, all of them primarily focused that it would be good if NPA can be revived and saved on time. They emphasized upon the professionalization, impartiality, and commitment to work for the rights, interests, and benefits of all the professionals and psychologists affiliated with such association.
One of the psychology professional remarked, “Because of the lack of unity among professionals in our field, the people from other fields are taking advantage of this situation and they are literally exploiting our opportunities.” The same participant also commented upon the article s/he had read recently which cited there are only 5 psychologists in Nepal. “If it is so, who am I? I am surely not among those 5, what is my identity? Who are psychologists in Nepal?,” the person questioned. There was silence for some time and the room was filled with confusion and contemplation. However, no answer came!
I emphasized upon the underprivileged academic standard of our discipline in Nepal. Psychology deserves academic excellence if we are really sincere and committed to it. The education system is based upon rote memory rather than critical thinking, it focuses upon passing the examinations rather than being able to work successfully or apply our knowledge in our useful manner in our work place and the everyday life. Sometimes, it makes me cry, this is a very emotional and personal thing I am sharing here. I am very much concerned about my own career and this field as a whole. However, I am trying to take it positively with a thought in mind that the adversity brings opportunity, just the challenges to overcome before that. Psychology is a part of our life, we not only study it, we live it every day and our knowledge should help us to understand ourselves and the world around us better.
Many participants shared their thoughts and opinions and concluded that there should be an association which can provide guardianship to all of us who are into this field. They said there will be follow-up meetings to discuss this matter and there will be attempt to talk with NPA about it.