Education System in the Rana Regime

November 22, 2021

Introduction

It is commonly believed that if Jung Bahadur Rana had not gone to the UK, the first English School in Nepal would not have been created in 1910. That visit is even credited for laying the groundwork for the English education system (modern education) in Nepal since he got the opportunity to observe the education system in person. However, civilians were not allowed to enter the school as the primary aim of establishing Nepal's first-ever school on 27 Poush 1910 at Dakhchowk of Thapathali Durbar was to teach Jung Bahadur's descendants English. A few years after returning home, Jung Bahadur sent his sons and nephews to the UK for education to no avail. 

Mr. Rose, an English instructor, is reported to have accompanied Jung Bahadur after returning from his tour to Britain in 1907. It is also conceivable that he was brought in to train Junga Bahadur's staff before handing over control of the institution to them. At the time, the civil servant Nijamati Thamauti (employee distribution) used to list which employees were employed, where they worked, and how much their yearly pay contract was. However, the absence of Mr. Rose's name from Nijamati Thamauti after 1910 confirms that the Nepalese government did not pay his salary. Instead, it was discovered that wages had only been given to James Kenning, the school's principal, since 1916. It is unknown who paid his salary before that.

Haradhum Ghosh, "The Bengali who teaches English," was assigned to teach students several topics beginning in Poush 8 of 1910 and was granted a monthly Rs 90/-, totaling Rs 1080 per year. Another instructor, Vyaram Ghosh, was paid Rs 840 per year to teach Chinese at Rs 30 per month. In 1924, a new school was constructed where Vachaspati Pandit and Neeldev Pandit used to teach. It is seen that Rs 1,884 has been spent on the two as well as the enrolled students in Nijamati Thamauti.

After Jung Bahadur's death, Durbar School remained in the Charburje Durbar area, which is now the Election Commission. It then moved from the Dhir Shumsher's home to a tiny space within the Narayanhiti palace. Schooling for children up to the tenth grade began there. Now the children of Jagirdar also started getting access to the school. After 1940, the school moved to Thapathali Dakhchowk. The school was shifted again to a new building on the west side of Ranipokhari in 1948. The school was open to the public in 1957.

In 1931, General Jeetjung directed Vishnuhari Rimal to construct a school at Rajarajeshwari Ghat. However, the institution was dissolved after a short time. Dhir Shumsher started a Sanskrit school at the Narayanhiti campus in 1934 on the advice of Ranodeep Singh, a devout Hindu. Bada Guru Nagendra Raj Pandit, according to Nijamati Thamauti, was assigned the duty of teacher selection and management.

The final examination at the school level was known as the entrance examination and Calcutta University administered it in 1936 as it was the closest university. In 1928, Jung Bahadur sent 19 years old Bir Shumsher to Calcutta as a 'lawyer resident.' During his leisure time in Calcutta, he studied at night with Mr. Grace, a teacher of Dafton College. He could not complete his studies. Khadga Shumsher, son of Dhir Shumsher, was the first Nepali student to attend the entrance examination from Calcutta University. He did not pass the exam. Rana Chandra Shumsher became the first to pass the entrance exam.

As Calcutta University was very far, he started participating in the matriculation examination from Patna University in 1975. From the year 1985, the teachers of Patna University began taking exams in Nepal. The SLC Board was established in 16 Kartik 1990, after which exams were conducted in Nepal. The initial examination was conducted by Controller Nandaram Upreti.

Language School

Bajhang's King Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Singh, Pandit Harihar Acharya Dixit, Pandit Divyadev Pant, and Durbar School's Headmaster Batukrishna Maitra were the education consultants of Dev Shumsher Rana. Jaya Prithvi Bahadur had more influence inside the court as he was Chandra Shumsher's son-in-law and the king of Bajhang. So, the initiative to teach Nepali at the school level was accepted, based on the suggestion of Jaya Prithvi, Motiram Bhatt, and two other Pandits. As a result, schools were established in the Valley less than a month after Dev Shumsher assumed as Prime Minister. They were called Bhasha Pathshala as they gave priority to Nepali language education. Pathshala was established by managing one teacher in places with 50 students and two teachers in areas where there were more. Students were given a writing board and some books for free.

In 1976, Chandra Shumsher set up an inspection office under the Civil Settlement Department to inspect the schools. The responsibility was given to the scholar Hemraj Sharma. In the 1990s, the civil servants in Nijamati Thamauti seem to be receiving salaries from the English field and the civil area under the School of Inspectors. After the advent of democracy, some language school buildings were housed from government agencies to security posts. Those schools became modern schools.

Sanskrit Education

There were two Sanskrit schools in the time of Jung Bahadur. One was the school of Neeldev Pandit, and the other was the school of Vachaspati Pandit. Neeldev's salary was increased to Rs 50 per month, amounting to Rs 600 yearly whereas, Vachaspati had a monthly salary of Rs 25 which amounted to Rs 300 yearly. Students studying there would also get Rs 48 per year at the rate of Rs 4 per month. 

General Jit Jung had made arrangements for the study of Sanskrit at Rajrajeshwari Ghat in 1939. Sanskrit Pathshala was established in 1934 on the initiative of Dhir Shumsher. After moving around a bit, it landed on the magnificent building built on the west side of Ranipokhari in 1948. Durbar School was placed on the upper floor, and Sanskrit Pathshala on the ground floor. Although the name of the school was Rajkiya Sanskrit Pathshala, it was popularly called Durbar Sanskrit Pathshala.

The students of Sanskrit Pathshala, in mid-1955, had to go to the Government Sanskrit College in Benaras, India, to take the exam to formalize their studies. The school was Rajkiya Sanskrit Pradhan Pathshala. Ten students of Ranipokhari Sanskrit Pathshala first went to Benaras in 1955 to appear for the mid-term examinations. From 1975, Shastri and Acharya level reading was started in Ranipokhari Pathshala. The course was from Benaras College. In 2005, Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher gave the go-ahead to establish a Sanskrit university in Nepal, but the university could not be established. In the year 2008, a state Sanskrit college was established in Kathmandu. It was a government college and was formally inaugurated in 2009 by King Tribhuvan.

Basic Education

The idea of basic education at the time was to emphasize instruction in sewing, weaving, cutting, carpentry, masonry, agriculture, and other trades, with a concentration on employment. Padma Shumsher sent six people to Bettiah, India, in 2003 to train on those fields. On Jestha 10, 2004, Aadhar Shiksha Talim Kendra was founded at Tahachal, Chauni. On Jestha 23, Aadhar Abhyas School opened. Bhavnath Dhungana was the headmaster of the school, while Chakrapani was the headmaster of the teaching center. Aadhar School expanded out into adult education.

There were plans to open 50 schools a year, and by 2007 the number had grown to 150. The then government also planned to open a 'Post Basic High School.' At that time, work was underway to establish a university of basic education in India. After the establishment of the university, it was thought that Nepal would run higher education programs with affiliation. Basic education schools disintegrated with the advent of democracy, and the need for new schools surged.

Female Education

Prime Minister Dev Shumsher had proposed that a girls' school be established in Makhantol, Kathmandu. His wife, Krishna Kumari, was the one who officially opened the institution. According to the two-copy charter of 1958, women's schools was founded in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur. In 1982, there were a total of six girls' schools in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.

Chandrakanta Malla founded an informal school for women in 1980, where students were taught language and entrepreneurship. Chandrakanta told Man Shumsher that she planned to open a ladies' school in Nepal, with the thought that education and business should be taught to empower backward, helpless, illiterate, and business-less women. In Baisakh 1990, Kanya Pathshala received permission to open.

Suvarna Kumari Devi filled the application form to appear in the SLC examination of 1990 but did not appear in the examination. The mark ledger with the Examination Control Office said she had passed away. In the year 2002, Lekh Rajyalakshmi, a private examinee, became the first woman to complete SLC. She passed with a first division.

Art School

In 1978, the then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher sent Chandra Man Singh Maskey to India with an allowance to study Fine Arts. At that time, Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of British India. Chandra Man enrolled in the Industrial Art School to learn painting. After completing his art education, he returned home in 1986. A charter was issued on Kartik 8, 1990, to establish an art school. Accordingly, an art school was established in Basantapur, Kathmandu. 

After the 1990 earthquake damaged the building in Basantapur, it was temporarily moved under Dharahara. Ganesh Bahadur's Chowk and Jog Bahadur's house in Bhotahity were purchased for Rs 845.75 to build a technical school. On Chaitra 9, 2008, the Council of Ministers decided to bring the technical school under the Ministry of Education. At the same time, the art school also came under the Ministry of Education. 

Technical Education

Eight Nepali youths were sent to Japan in 1959 to learn technical courses. Janga Narsingh Rana, 22, and Bhakta Bahadur Basnyat, 19, were sent to study weapons engineering; Deva Narsingh Rana, 20, and Bal Narsingh Rayamajhi, 20, were sent to study minerals; Deep Narsingh Rana, 18, was sent to study agriculture; Hem Bahadur Rajbhandari, 22, was sent to study mechanical engineering; Rudra Lal Singh, 27, was sent to study practical chemistry; and Bichar Man Singh to study ceramics and lacquer. This laid the foundation for the establishment of more technical schools in Nepal.

On 21st Magh, 1987, a technical school was established. It was found to run a business related to skills like handicrafts, agriculture, weaving, etc. with ease and increased employment. A Technical School opened on Jestha 12, 1988, in Kathmandu. In 1988, Chaitra 30, an engineering branch, was established under the same school. Devi Prasad Basyal from agriculture, Harka Ratna Tuladhar from cutting, Shiva Prasad Bhattarai from weaving, Rudra Das from painting, and Kula Ratna Tuladhar from engineering were appointed as trainers as a test.

University Education

Tribhuvan-Chandra College was established in 1975 with affiliation from Calcutta University. Due to lack of space, the college was run in the building of Durbar High School. In the beginning, English, Nepali and Sanskrit, and other subjects like History, Logic, and Mathematics were taught at an intermediate level. Soon after, a college building was constructed on the premises of Ghantaghar and Bir Library. The responsibility of being the principal was given to the then principal of Durbar Highschool, Batu Krishna Maitri. The college was renamed Tri-Chandra college in 1981.

In Bhadra of 2005, the members were appointed for the University Planning Meeting. Education Director Mrigendra Shumsher chaired the 25-member planning assembly. Apart from this, a plan was prepared to include the employees of government bases in the sub-committee meeting. The first meeting of the University Planning Assembly was held at Saraswati Sadan on Bhadra 14, 2005. The committee had decided to submit a report to the government. But there was a delay in submitting the report. The report, which was supposed to be submitted in Baisakh of 2006, was not ready even in the month of Magh. The government disbursed five lakh rupees to establish the university. When the Rana regime came to an end, the plan to establish a university remained unfulfilled. 

Other Contributions

The Gurkha Language Publishing Committee was set up to prepare school textbooks, and some textbooks were printed. Later, it was renamed to Nepali Language Publishing Committee. It is mainly used to publish books related to languages. When the campaign to establish the library was started, the library festival was also held during the Rana period. Later, the exemption for the establishment of the library was given. An education proclamation was issued to regulate education. The original copy of the declaration was kept in the Ministry of Education store branch at Keshar Mahal. Montessori, Sresta Pathshala, and teacher training were also started during the Rana period. 

Conclusion

Until the return of Jung Bahadur from the UK, Gurukul was the education system in Nepal. It was rather customary to acquire education at Guru's residence or a designated location. This custom, however, faded with time. The Rana Regime laid the foundation for modern education in Nepal. The educational foundations built at the time are still in place in Nepal now. Following 2007, two things were said: free education and dramatic educational transformation. However, Nepali citizens have not witnessed these two things in actual terms for over seven decades.

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