Nepal Homeopathic Medical College, the country's only institute for the alternative medicine studies based in Biratnagar, is on the brink of closure.
With only 11 students and a poor enrolment-not exceeding six students a semester-the college operators are planning to close down after the students (five in the third semester and six in the fourth semester) complete their Bachelor's in Homeopathic Medical and Surgery (BHMS).
The students have protested the decision to close down the institution. Pressing demands like student enrolment and developing new infrastructure and resources for the college, the students vandalised the college's properties recently.
The college has not admitted any students for the last three years as the operators were predetermined to close the school, said Santosh Neupane, who is spearheading the students' protest.
The college operators say the institute cannot continue while being saddled with financial loss.
“We need at least 40 students to keep the college running. Due to low enrolment the college is suffering an annual loss of around five million rupees,” said Tarun Sancheti, the college operator.
According to him, the college charges Rs 382,500 per student for a four-year bachelor's course; Rs 10,000 of the sum is paid to Purbanchal University, while Rs 57,600 is provided to students during their internship.
We need an annual budget of Rs 6.57 million to run the college, Sancheti said, adding with low enrolment and lack of the government support the college cannot continue operation. He said the college was still in operation as it was his moral responsibility to see the students through their academic course. “The six senior year's students will complete their course in two months, and it will take 18 months for the other five students to complete their four-year course. After that the college will be closed.”
(Source: The Kathmandu Post)