My priorities are ingrained with PABSON’s organizational core values-Ishwar Bahadur Gurung

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Ishwar Bahadur Gurung, a noble scholar of the academic sphere of Nepal, is the Founder Principal of Moonlight School, Lalitpur. He is the outgoing Vice-president of the Central PABSON. His entailment in PABSON has been significant as he’s played a catalytic role in bringing academic breakthroughs in the course of time.

Mr. Gurung has handled responsibility from district committee to central committee level during his involvement in PABSON for more than 30 years. Now he has embarked on the candidacy of Co-president in the 15th National Convention.

College Readers has caught a momentum to discuss his plans and ongoing PABSON projects with this noble figure. Excerpts:

Could you share with us your venture into the PABSON stewardship?

I started my journey in PABSON along with the establishment of my school in 2047 BS. Since then, I have been working in various committees of PABSON continuously. I entered PABSON as a member and participated in the 1st Convention, which was organized in Kirtipur, Kathmandu. Apart from this, I have been an active member of PABSON Lalitpur District Committee and representative of the Convention. I have been secretary to the District Committee for two terms, Chairperson for one term and Chief Advisor for one term. I am fortunate to have accomplished my responsibilities as treasurer in the central executive committee for two terms and vice president for two terms successfully.

In your opinion, what is role of private schools in escalating educational status of the nation?

The Government of Nepal brought the concept of private education in the 1930s, since then, schools were started to establish from the investment of private sector. In fact, private schools got spread countrywide after the Mass Movement of 2046 BS. As a result, these private institutions have made a paradigm shift in educational sphere in Nepal, all of which produced globally competitive human resources. Needless to say, private schools have gained the trust of the public for their quality education dissemination. They have created a distinctive identity in introducing new teaching pedagogy, offering international standard education, and taking Nepalese education to international level. In addition, they play a vital role in teaching students good discipline, etiquette, moral conduct and efficiency. So, private schools have undoubtedly contributed to the escalation of academic status of students in particular and of the nation at large.

Based on your experience, what have been the challenges for PABSON since 2047 until today?

The PABSON has come across a myriad of upheavals since the outbreak of Maoist insurgency in the early 50s. In addition, it faced several challenges of discriminatory academic policies. As an umbrella organization of private schools, the PABSON has been working continuously on establishing and reviving the existence of private schools across Nepal. Currently, a threat has been created regarding the security of investment. So, the PABSON has to work scrupulously for settling the problem and giving assurance to all the investors regarding their investment security. The global trend of education is rapidly changing with the pace of time. We have to learn and follow the global trends of education to prepare globally employable human resources. It is so challenging that we must introduce advanced technologies to our teaching and learning activities and equip our students with IT skills apart from giving them moral education and instilling in them the importance of our cultural priorities.

It is heard that the member schools have blamed PABSON for being irresponsible for resolving their critical situations during the pandemic. How do you exculpate yourself of this allegation?

PABSON had to fully concentrate on the amendment of the provision of the government to phase out all private institutions within a period of ten years. After our long and effective lobbing and negotiation, the Government has agreed upon the assurance of long-lasting existence of private schools in Nepal. It wasn’t easy to ensure the existence of private schools without PABSON. So, PABSON has played a significant and parental role to help all private schools sustain legally. There may be some demerits, but at times of crises, PABSON has always played and will play a protective role in coping with problems. Even today, PABSON is working on institutional development and capacity building of all member schools.

Your candidacy is for Co-president in the 15th National Convention? What strategic plan have you prepared to support PABSON if you are elected?

I’ve decided to announce my candidacy for the post of Co-president of PABSON. Truly speaking, Co-presidential position is created to assist the president. We have made a humble agreement and passed the legislation during the 14th National Convention that a Co-president will automatically become a president for the next tenure. So, my candidacy of Co-president adheres to the aim of future president.

Regarding my achievements, I have shown effective leadership skills throughout my different leadership roles. My performance as current secretary to PABSON is lauded by many academicians. If I am elected Co-president, first of all, I will strive for solving the problem of 45% scholarship set by the government. This provision is discriminatory for the students who are studying in private schools as they get deprived of acquiring any sorts of scholarship privileges.

Similarly, my focus will be on institutional development and capacity building of private schools and teachers working there. Needless to say, I will work on increasing the academic status of private schools and ensuring participation of representatives of private schools in policy-making level of the government.

What message would you like to convey to the school delegates of the 15th National Convention?

According to the estimated data, there will be as many as 2246 representatives in the 15th National Convention from across the nation. All these representatives are qualified as most of them have earned a minimum of bachelor’s degree. So, I would like to convey the message to them stating they should appoint audacious and stalwart leaders who will advocate private institution friendly policies from local level to national level. Likewise, I express my best wishes to all participating academicians to make a historic decision on electing wise and visionary leaders. 

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