As the test of fire refines steel, my tested leadership best fits the Presidential Position in HISSAN-Dr. Swagat Shrestha


Dr. Swagat Shrestha, who always believes in team work and is committed to duty and responsibility, is a well-known name among HISSAN educationalists. He is the Vice-President of Central HISSAN. Starting his academic career at a very young age by establishing his own college, he likes to work, not talk. A firm believer in action speaks louder than words –HISSAN Kathmandu has achieved outstanding achievements under his leadership. Since the legislation of the 7th National Convention of HISSAN prevented Dr. Shrestha from being appointed Secretary-General, he was forced to remain Vice-President. Now the situation required his leadership. He didn’t come back to the race for president. Dr. Shrestha shares his views on the current situation with HISSAN, its current national convention, the qualities needed to be true leaders, they need to choose unanimous leadership, and the strategy and goal adopted to address all issues, and policies. Excerpts:

The HISSAN National Convention has been scheduled for 25th and 26th Chaitra, 2078. In your view, what are the traits to be possessed by the incoming leaders?

Leaders should have the quality to address the dissatisfaction of members in the organization by uniting and satisfying their aspirations. He/she should be driven by the motive of selfless service and have the ability to unite members and ensure good coordination with government, stakeholders, and like-minded organizations. He/she should also have extensive knowledge of questions and concerns in the private education sector. Additionally, the ability and vision to nurture and produce future leadership is another equally essential quality of leadership. The person with academic excellence and the ability to manage the organization through bringing together, nurturing, and coordinating the team are the essential qualities of a successful leader.

“It is the need of today to elect a robust leader and the executive members unanimously. There are several problems, issues, and concerns regarding private education and the entire education system in Nepal. It is not possible to overcome these problems in the absence of unity and cooperation. So, we will try our best to form a committee unanimously by addressing the dissatisfaction of all the associates.”

What could be the reason for a large number of students to go to foreign lands in the name of foreign education?

Reliable data has shown that around 800 youths are leaving the country in the name of foreign study every day. They are leaving the country for the purpose of receiving higher education, in pursuit of a job and settlement in a foreign swathe. It is due to the lack of job opportunities and life-enhancing education. So, the government should cooperate with the private sector and create an amicable environment for the investment of the private sector for the promotion and effectiveness of technical and vocational education. Moreover, the government should prepare the curriculum to link our education with employment. If the government ensures skilled-based and job-oriented education in Nepal, we can dwindle the number of youths going to foreign lands. In my opinion, quality education, employment-oriented education and an environment of study with work should be assured inside the country for discouraging them from being drained out.

There are many educational organizations in the country established with the same purpose. To what extent should HISSAN consider choosing the capable leaders to bring all those organizations together for the improvement of education in Nepal?

In my view, HISSAN should play a vital role in implementing the conclusion of the conference. Similarly, it should be able to choose stalwart leaders who can bring all like-minded organizations together for achieving the organizational goal and should create moral pressure to the government for formulating private friendly education policy which will bring major breakthroughs in the academic sector in the nation.

Your intention indicates that the incoming leaders should govern unanimous, selfless, and virtuous qualities to lead such a massive organization, but such flawless leadership has not been found in HISSAN yet. Is it possible to get such leadership in the upcoming convention?

There are likely to be negotiations and competition for leadership at conventions, as is often the case. Everyone wants to present themselves as their best. It’s no wonder everyone is perfect in their assessment. So, you should choose a leader who is loved by the masses and can be trusted. In light of the current situation, there are several private education-related issues that need to be addressed. So, the new leaders should be able to address all of these issues and concerns in relation to all member universities and all private education as a whole.

Similarly, s/he should be familiar with government education policy and international scenarios. I believe that all of the members are qualified for the job since they have been leading their own institutions well. However, we should choose the best among them, who can devote the necessary time to the organization.

Analyzing the trends and circumstances, the Central HISSAN Leadership has failed to acknowledge the voices of district-based and provincial committee subordinates which can be validated by the fact that the convention of Bagmati Province has been postponed. How do you justify this allegation?

Of course, there are some drawbacks to leadership, but I think it is unreasonable to expose all these internal affairs via media. I am also not satisfied with some issues and concerns. So, I have expressed my personal reservation and opinion about the related organization. Still, I am in the favor of mass consensus.

The dissatisfaction of the district leaders triggers the possibility of their claim for the central committee leadership. How is it possible to form an executive committee unanimously amid disputes?

Your analysis may be right in many respects. It could be better to conduct the district and provincial conventions to acknowledge the aspirations of the people of these areas. It is the need of today to elect robust leaders and executive members unanimously. There are several problems, issues and concerns regarding private education and the entire education system in Nepal. It is not possible to overcome these problems in the absence of unity and cooperation. So, we will try our best to form a committee unanimously by addressing the dissatisfaction of all the associates.

You have reached this position from the grassroot level and   successfully fulfilled the responsibility as the President of HISSAN Kathmandu and Vice President of Central HISSAN. What would you do if you were asked to lead the organization?

I am ready to handle the responsibility as demanded by the time and situation. There are some seniors in the organization. So, I will not become the barrier to them. If they wish I should take up the leadership role and get support from my colleagues, I will not dilapidate their expectation.

Do you have any strategic plan to drive the organization if you are elected the President?

I believe in working and have experience in major social organizations as well as in my own self-governing school. My institution, Kathmandu Valley School, was established in 2054 and I have been running it to this day.  As President of HISSAN Kathmandu, I worked hard to make HISSAN Kathmandu a better organization.  I have successfully led the administrative work of the Central HISSAN department. Leading an organization is a challenging task, and I have had great success with it. Likewise, I have the ability to coordinate and establish a personal relationship. Also, I am familiar with the HISSAN release. So, I have a useful plan to address the issues and problems.

What suggestions would you like to convey to the HISSAN associates and the delegates attending the National Convention?

First of all, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all the participants from different parts of the country in Kathmandu attending the National Convention—a grand ceremony for all the HISSAN members. Secondly, I would like to convey my message to all the HISSAN associates that your role is significant in ensuring the existence of private institutions in Nepal. So, I request all of them to show their meaningful presence in the convention which will immensely contribute to the selection of the senior-most leader and the executive committee for their upcoming tenure.


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