Nawaraj Pandey, who is the President of Organization of Pokhara University Educational Institutions-Nepal (OPEN,) is also the Senior Vice President of Higher Institution and Secondary Schools’ Association- Nepal (HISSAN).
Nobel College, the first Pokhara University affiliate, has been running under his leadership. Since the beginning of college establishment, it has been contributing immensely for uplifting the status of the University and strengthening its programs. Mr. Pandy is committed to providing quality education relevant for Nepal’s future managers, entrepreneurs, IT specialists and health professionals. The college offers a array of management courses, such as BBA, BCIS, BHCM and BBA-BI; BPH, B.Sc. Nursing, B.Sc. Medical Bio-chemistry, B.Sc. Medical Microbiology, BSc.MLT, B. Pharm. and MPH affiliated to Pokhara University. It also offers Diploma in Pharmacy, affiliated to CTEVT.
Mr. Pandey highlights inter-relationship between Pokhara University and OPEN since its inception. ‘Private colleges are always ready to strengthen and ignite the acclamation of the university’, he adds. As a result, OPEN has initiated to establish an international standard research center by constructing a building.
He shares his view with College Readers. Excerpts:
Since you are the president of OPEN, how did OPEN fulfill its role during the Covid-19 pandemic?
OPEN is an umbrella organization of the private colleges affiliated to Pokhara University. It had a significant role to cope with challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We successfully completed the online exams at the midst of the lockdown by following all necessary protocols despite its intimidating threats. Secondly, we (all the founders of the private colleges which are affiliated to Pokhara University) discussed together to explore effective ways for introducing curricula considering the needs and necessities of the global market. Thirdly, all the affiliated colleges extended cooperation as our corporate social responsibility to the university for establishing a hall for research center.
As your two-year tenure is going to end soon, are you still interested in giving it a go for second time as president? How do you analyze the activities of OPEN until today since its establishment?
I have successfully completed my two years’ tenure as President of OPEN. So, we are preparing for another national conference in which a new leader will be elected unanimously. In addition, we are also intending to move ahead in unison to bring drastic reformation in order to strengthen the existing cooperation between affiliated institutions, OPEN and Pokhara University.
OPEN has played a significant role in bringing all Pokhara University affiliates to one common platform. Similarly, its role was exemplary as it introduced techno-friendly education during the pandemic. We are actively working on extending the national and international relation and getting grants to introduce new programs and run a research center effectively in near future.
You have been leading one of the most reputed educational institutions, what inspired you to embark on the education field as your career profession?
I visited a few countries, such as India, Thailand, China Singapore and many more some 20 years back and studied their educational trends and their impacts on the overall development of the nation. And I reached the conclusion that the entailment of private sector is a must to enhance quality education and to contribute to the development of nation. Similarly, a kind of feeling, ‘the development is not possible without developing the educational benchmarks’ emerged in my mind while visiting some European countries. So, after my analysis on how those global educational trends impacted the holistic development of the nation and how they contributed to the national economy, I decided to devote my whole life to the education sector and serve the nation. Hence, I got involved in the private sector education with a feeling of contribution to creating employment opportunities to the nation’s career hopefuls and producing qualified human resources for the nation.
Since you hold the stratospheric position in Nobel Academy, in your evaluation, to what extent are you successful in fulfilling the objective of its establishment?
Our main objective of the college establishment was to impart quality education with the efforts of private sector. In this context, we have been successful in accomplishing about 80% of our objective. Moreover, Nobel College has gained a national acclamation in paramedical and management education. So, we are satisfied with our mission and vision. Our efforts are still strong that underpin our surmise of introducing market-demanded courses and creating a wealth of opportunities for our youths. We are headstrong in terms of our mission to establish the existing college as a university campus in the future. Also, our mission adheres to the establishment of a private university to systematize private education in Nepal.
What are your logical arguments that students wishing to pursue paramedical and management education should get enrollment in your college? How are the prospects of paramedical and management qualifications in the global market?
Paramedical and management education is the ‘gold standard’ of Nobel College. Its quality delivery and management are exemplary to all its contemporary institutions. It is centrally located at the heart of Kathmandu city and has state-of-the-art physical infrastructures.
Our products are easily employable in the global market. Our products have held high ranking positions in both governmental and non-governmental sectors, particularly in para-medical and management fields. As of today, we have not witnessed any predicaments in which our graduates are dilly-dallying in search of employment.
There are both positive and negative feedback about health and paramedical fields in Nepal. What is your view regarding this issue?
There are a number of defects in the policy of Medical Education Commission. In my perspectives, the university is the apex body of the entire education system whose responsibility is to ensure the right of all students to study and get validity of their qualification. Although our paramedical graduates have got the recognition to study in most universities of the world, but the commission has created a panic situation showing procedural limitations in our country. So, I request the Nepal government and Medical Education Commission through the column of your esteemed magazine to open the gateway to ensure students’ right to higher study pursuits.
In your opinion, what should the government and the commission do to open the gateway for the assurance of student right to validate their hard-earned paramedical qualification? How much hopeful are you about its long-term solution?
If the government adopts the policy of percentage model, it will give the paramedical students the assurance of pursuing their further studies. The priority should be given to the 50% obtainers, second priority to the obtainers who score 45% in the exams and so on. The Prime Minister is the Chancellor of the University and there are highly reputed educationists in the university policy making level. So, I am hopeful that the university will solve this problem sooner. If this existing problem is resolved and an amicable environment is created to pursue higher studies by those students in Nepal, we can stop the surpassing of a huge amount of national currency in foreign institutions every year.
The Covid-19 pandemic created devastation for teaching and learning activities from school to university level. However, educational institutions have now been successful in reviving their physical teaching and learning environment. In your opinion, how should the teaching and learning system be carried forward in the days to come?
The entire world has learnt an unforgettable lesson that a pandemic can be emerged at any time which holds no limits of devastation. However, most institutions complied with a virtual way of teaching and learning that mitigated the maelstroms of the pandemic. However, the virtual teaching is not a permanent solution to supersede physical teaching and learning activities. It is just a strategy to diminish the predicaments of such a pandemic.
Private educational institutions have played a significant role in adopting an alternative solution. We had to face the shortage of skilled human resources in health sector during the pandemic. So, the government should consider creating an appropriate environment for the private sector to prepare adept human resources through exciting policy rather than sabotaging them to grow and flourish academically. In addition, the government should ensure a congenial environment for establishing private universities which will eventually reduce the financial burden of the government in education sector.
As the president of OPEN, what do you think about the role of OPEN to strengthen the stance of Pokhara University?
We should work in unison to upgrade the quality of teaching faculty, involve teachers in research work by allocating a grant, focus on research and exchange knowledge of professors of both intranational and international universities. In this regard, Pokhara University should extend the good camaraderie to OPEN, its affiliates and the government.
Finally, what message would you like to convey to ten-plus-two graduates wishing to study in bachelor level?
First and foremost, I would like to extend my best wishes to those achievers for their grand success in the NEB exams. Similarly, I suggest they should appear for entrance preparation classes to pursue medical courses. Nobel College eagerly looks forward to welcoming you here where you can avail yourself of all academic privileges we offer.