SURKHET, April 19, 2018: Bandana Khadka of Birendranagar-3 took an unusual decision to switch their school from a boarding school to a community school. She recently admitted her two sons to one of the oldest community schools in the district. “Community school has boosted the standard of education of her sons” stated Mrs.Khadka. According to her, community schools are no less than private schools these days. Her elder son has been admitted in grade 4 and the younger son has been enrolled in grade 2.
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.
Similarly, Shaipal Devkota, who scored A+ in the final exams from her private school last year, has been enrolled in 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
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 not less than providing quality education to the students as boarding does.
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.
Until a few years ago, the number of students was disappointingly low in JSS despite being at the centre of Birendranagar. But that has changed, thanks to the infrastructural development and qualified teachers. According to Shrestha, 80 % of the applicants are from boarding schools. “This makes it clear that community schools have been able to enrol the number of students these days,” he added. The school had made it mandatory for the staff to admit their children to the community school. A high number of students has compelled the school authority to run 23 classes from grade 1 to 10 this year.
Not only JSS but other schools like SKSSS, Amar Jyoti Namuna Secondary School, Neware, Hastabir Basic School among others have the similar flow of students. “Every year 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 a number of parents started admitting their children to community schools after community schools started English medium for teaching.