Dawn of Private Educational Institutions and their Unmarred Legacy of EXCELLENCE IN NEPAL

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If we are to observe the educational development of Nepal over years, we shall divide it into two parts: before the Rana Reign and after it. However, we can also look at it with reference to the Modern Nepal Unification Campaign initiated by Prithvi Narayan Shah. After Junga Bahadur Rana established the first school of Nepal, i.e. Durbar School in 1910 B.S. educational institutes were recognized as important factor for social transformation. There were different educational structures operating in Lichhavi and Malla period, mostly the Gurukul system. Some Gurukul’s competed independently whereas some were run under religious organizations in which Arts, Sculptures and Philosophy were the major subjects. Institutions that run independently without the direct or indirect influence of Gurukul are called Private Institutions. The definitions could have changed with the course of time, but the original idea of private Institutions has remained unchanged. After the Nepal Unification Campaign, education in Nepal witnessed some changes in it. Educations were now more about physical power and cultural diversity making students war-ready. Later, the beloved children of warriors who lost their lives in the war were provided with quality education supported by special scholarships. In 1910 BS, Durbar School was inaugurated by Junga Bahadur with a motive to provide education to his brothers and relatives only. The curriculums were designed in English as it was an institute that functioned under private rules. Many people disregarded this idea as Nepali language was not given the priority it deserved. If today’s law is to understand this context, it would only get sophisticated. Currently, to impart education to the general people of Nepal, Durbar School lies in Ranipokhari, Kathmandu. Though the school faced a lot of criticisms in its initial stage, educationalists and experts have agreed that it is because of this Durbar School that Nepal is now a literate country with diversified educational opportunities. However, the sad part was, no region of Nepal was concerned about opening schools. Financially stable and politically capable people would go to foreign lands to acquire further education. Even though they would return after the completion of their fundamental education, they were not allowed to teach in mass as learning and teaching were considered acts against law. However, some taught basic reading and writing traits to the willing learners in the premises of their own house. This can be understood as an example of informal private education system. Later in the year 1975 B.S, when Chandra Shamsher established TriChandra College of Higher Education, schooling became favorable than ever. During the Rana Reign many Prime Ministers including Chandra Shamsher, Dev Shamsher and Padma Shamsher came together to bring reforms in the then-existing educational system. However, the trend of students going abroad did not stop even after 20 years of democracy. If we have to trace the history, though formal education was not in practice for a long time but informal education has also contributed massively in the development process. The compulsion to go to foreign land to get education during the Rana Reign was also controlled after the circulation of informal education in the country.

After Nepal became a democratic nation in 2007 B.S, Education rules and regulations were promoted from 2010 B.S. by educationalists. Schools and Colleges were built in different places with a purpose of creating aware and responsible citizens. Panchayat system further improved the management of residing education. Accordingly, Educational Laws were enforced in the country in 2023 B.S which were brought into action from 2025 B.S. and 2027 B.S. respectively under Education law 2028. Education Law 2028 is still functioning. During all this reforms, the Cultural school established by Sadananda Adhikari in 2020 B.S. in Bhojpur turned out to be a game changer among Villagers. Though differences were visible from normal school, but what Sadananda built was a private school in itself. This came along to be renamed as Guthi. In 2037 B.S, establishing a private educational institute was legalized, but soon after it was demolished. However, in B.S. 2047, the first Private educational Institute – The Kathmandu University was established. After the 7th Amendment in Educational Law at 2049 B.S, all private and public schools were prohibited to open schools after legal registration. It is after this Amendment that Private Educational Institutes were opened in most of the regions of Nepal. Since then, Private Schools are thriving with its own pros and cons. As of today, 8000 Private Schools are operating with a total of 600 billion investment throughout the country. Almost 2 lakhs teachers are provided with employment in private schools where 23% students are studying. The national survey conducted in 2017 A.D. demonstrates that around 33 lakhs 12 thousand intakes are from grade 1 to 5 in public schools whereas the number is around 6 lakhs 57 thousand in private schools. Though these data show massive difference between the two, the growing attraction of students and guardians towards private schools have proven to give utmost competition to public ones. As the country was undergoing a decade long civil war from 1996 to 2006 A.D. education sector was suffering from dilemma. Private institutions themselves were at huge risk. But to defend one’s existence, they handled themselves with maturity by fulfilling the desired responsibility. Schools could not operate for two whole decades. The declining number of teachers and inefficient school management of public schools became an opportunity for private schools to facilitate its excellence. Private schools were constantly willing to work for the development of the society and nation as a whole, which made it shine in citizens’ eyes. As a result, even today general guardians rely on private schools for their kid’s future. Private schools didn’t gain this trust overnight, it took them years of consistent efforts. The principals, teaching and non-teaching staff, academic faculty and school management of private schools – all are answerable to students, guardians and their queries regarding everything related to the school and society in a bigger lens. They are ever ready to receive innovative ideas and constructive criticisms for the betterment of all parties involved. They are continuously concerned about the overall development and learnings of their students. This is why Private schools have proved its Excellency time and again in the National Examinations Board and other international competitions. If we tally the SEE (previously SLC) board result, it is evident that the nation’s prestige is intact only because of proficient teaching and learning environment of private schools. Not only in studies but private schools are also found to give tough competition to the opponents in international races. The world has seen changes in every aspect of human life. There is always competition to develop innovations for tomorrow that we didn’t have yesterday. The television we watched 50 years ago are nowhere close to the televisions that exist today. 20 years ago, no one could have even imagined to have personal mobile phones and be connect to anyone from anywhere. We have seen refined and reconstructed version of these all. To meet the demand of this fastpaced world, practical and high skilled manpower are anticipated. If the given education doesn’t meet the world standard we will lurk around with the same traditional knowledge, skills and mindset that we hold which will do no good to anyone. Private schools seem to have started drawing their attention in this matter. They are competing with themselves to be better than yesterday and impact more lives in less time. In recent times, private schools have been backlashed with false accusations only with an intention of defaming them. If this propaganda succeeds, the nation is sure to bear a huge loss. A wholesome sector like education should never be influenced by any external body – ever. Therefore, education is the key to all developmental aspects of a nation. Private schools have become the strongest base of this huge empire. Thus, Private schools shall continue to rise and shine to build a prosperous Nepal tomorrow.

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