Central Board of School Education (CBSE), an Indian Board, has schools under affiliation in over 28 countries, including Nepal. There are approximately 225 schools in 28 countries outside India affiliated with CBSE as of 2021 AD. The CBSE-affiliated schools in different countries outside India: both private as well as the government, are mostly established to serve the Indian community abroad. However, they’re mostly open to all nationalities. The Board has set up schools itself and has accorded affiliations to private schools set up by the locals or other Indians in countries with large Indian Diaspora residing like Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The schools can apply online for affiliation through the official website of CBSE.
Being one of the few countries that share open borders with India, Nepal has a sizeable population of Indian nationals residing here. To cater to their needs, CBSE has been active in the educational sector since 1978 AD. The total number of schools under the CBSE board in Nepal is 16 as of 2021 AD. The schools affiliated under the board follow the same curriculum all over the world. The examinations are held as per the rules of the board, whereas the academic calendar is adjusted according to the Nepali calendar to some extent. The coordination among the Indian autonomous body and Nepali officials makes it possible to maintain the CBSE standard in grading and evaluating the students. The board has also facilitated various scholarships for students studying in the schools under the board in Nepal.
Of the 16 schools that operate under the board, the following 11, teach up to the senior secondary level (till grade XII):
Foreign education boards have been operating in Nepal for a long time. Specifically, CBSE has been operating in Nepal since the 70s. During that time, the country had no proper rules governing the curriculum or foreign affiliations for school education. Time and again, CBSE and the schools affiliated with the board have come under the heat regarding the legality of their operation and curriculum. Five schools in Kathmandu valley in 2013 AD were on the verge of closing on the grounds that the schools were conducting classes using study material as per the CBSE curriculum without taking permission from the Ministry of Education. In 2016, they almost faced closure as the government decided to take action against the schools that were not registered with the Ministry of Education. Further, in 2018, the High-Level Education Commission proposed to gradually shut down the schools run by diplomatic missions for lack of a clear policy to regulate such academic institutions.
Nepali authorities have taken steps towards regulating the schools affiliated with foreign boards. Due to the lack of uniform regulation and concrete law of the nation governing the operation of foreign boards and authorizing their curriculum, the schools have time and again faced criticisms from various political as well as non-political entities for not being registered with the Ministry of Education and their curriculum for not being in line with Nepali values.
However, in 2018 AD, the Government of Nepal came up with the law to govern registering of foreign-affiliated schools education in Nepal and has set reasonable criteria for getting registered with the Ministry of Education. If the schools affiliated with any foreign boards meet these requirements, then they are free to operate without any legal hassles.