SURKHET, April 19: Bandana Khadka of Birendranagar-3 recently admitted her two sons to one of the oldest community schools of the district. She took an unusual decision to switch their school from a boarding school to a community school. According to her, community school has boosted the standard of education of her sons. According to her, community schools are no less than private schools these days. Her elder son has been enrolled in grade 4 and the younger son has been enrolled in grade 2.
Similarly, Shaipal Devkota, who was able to score A+ in the final exams from a private school last year, has been admitted to grade 8 in Jana Secondary School (JSS) this year.
"Community schools can provide education no less than boarding schools, so I was shifted here," said Devkota, who was seen on the premises of the school on Wednesday.
Likewise, Sandip Khatri, who was in a boarding school last year, was admitted to grade 9 of Shree Krishna Sanskrit Secondary School (SKSSS) of Birendranagar this year. He says he won't have any kind of problem for his study as SKSSS has classes in both English and Nepali medium.
Until a few years ago, there was a tradition of enrolling children in boarding schools from community schools but now that is slowly changing. This has been possible after a few community schools proved that they are capable of imparting quality education and other services to students.
JSS had to stop the application of students before the deadline due to the exceeding number of students. "We had published a notice for parents to fill the application till Thursday but more than 14,000 students filled the application form as of Wednesday. So we had to stop the application," informed Yam Bahadur Shrestha, principal of JSS.
According to Shrestha, 80 % of the applicants are from boarding schools. "This makes it clear that community schools have been able to woo more number of students these days," he added. Until a few years ago, the number of students was disappointingly low in JSS despite being at the center of Birendranagar. But that has changed, thanks to the infrastructural development and qualified teachers. The school had made it mandatory for the staff to admit their children in community school. High number of students has compelled the school authority to run 23 classes from grade 1 to 10 this year.
Not just JSS but other schools like SKSSS, Amar Jyoti Namuna Secondary School, Neware, Hastabir Basic School among others have similar flow of students. "Every year more number of students are switching from boarding schools to community schools and the rate is increasing significantly," said Dev Gautam, Information officer at SKSSS.
Jit Bahadur Shah, chief of Educational Development and Coordination Unit, Surkhet, says more number of parents started sending their children to community schools after community schools adopted English medium for teaching.
Source: Republica National daily, by- Nagendra Upadhyaya