The tendency among students opting to migrate to other districts in
pursuit of better education facilities have left academic institutions
in the district on the verge of closure. Moreover, with majority of
students failing to pass the SLC examination, also called the
‘iron-gate’, higher secondary schools (HSS) have been struggling to
maintain their very existence.
For instance, although it has
been one and a half months since admissions opened at Annapurna HSS in
Dilpa, not even one student has turned up for admissions. Moreover, none
of the students from the school, who appeared for the SLC examination
last year, have managed to pass out. Likewise, although two students
passed out from Panchakanya Higher Secondary School (HSS) last year,
none have turned up for admissions yet.
According to the District Education Office (DEO), most schools in various VDCs, including Lekharka, Bastim, Gogane, Byang, Dinla, Kudakakaule, Balankha, and Chayngre VDCs, to name a few, have failed to enrol a single student. Meanwhile, schools in the headquarters including Bidhyodaya HSS in Bhojpur, Yasodhara in Taksar, Sharada in Pyauli stated that at least a dozen students have enrolled in their institutions.
“If the present situation is to continue, it won’t be long before the schools will be totally deserted,” said Lal Kumar Rai, headmaster of Panchakanya HSS in Bhulke. In the meantime, schools have pinned their hopes on the results of chance exams. The number of students who had appeared for the SLC examination last year figures at 1,195 in Bhojpur. According to Rewati Parajuli, an officer at the DEO, if the students appearing for the chance examinations failed, the schools would have no alternative but to close down. Meanwhile, Panchakanya’s headmaster Rai said that they have been searching for students sitting idle after completing the SLC examination throughout the villages in the district. Furthermore, school operators have been left astounded by the fact that none of the students have shown interest in enrolling, even though the schools have forwarded various facilities like scholarship, free admission, among others.
“Even steep fare levied for the procurement of the transfer certificate has had but a little impact on students. Moreso, this has not deterred the students venturing outside the district for their intermediates,” Rai said. The schools have been charging up to Rs 7,000 for the transfer certificate in a failed bid to dissuade students from leaving the schools.
The most common factor compelling students to seek alternatives is lack of a variety of subjects available in local schools and the mentality that the quality of education in the district is low in comparison to other cities. While most students opting science, management, and other technical subjects desire to move to schools equipped with all facilities such as laboratories and libraries, some even move to other cities in search of quality education along with employment opportunities. Only the economically depraved students enroll in local schools.
“The only source of income for schools is the fees taken from the student, but in the wake of the current crisis, the schools have been stripped off their only source of income,” said teacher Arjun Nepal of Chyamakanya HSS, Dewantar. “While the government has not deputed teachers to the schools, it is hard to run a school dependent on donations from businessmen, industrialists, and the community,” said teacher Bir Kumar Rai of Salewa HSS in Dobhan VDC. Meanwhile, 11 HSS that have met the DEO’s set criteria are yet to receive any kind of aid from the government. DEO officer Parajuli said that his office was not been able to grant the funds as the Higher Secondary Education Council was yet to allocate the grants. Every year, the Council has been doling out grants to 16 HSS in bulk.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (Shahiman Rai): Published on August 11