EXISTING CHASM BETWEEN GOVERNMENT & PRIVATE SCHOOLS MUST BE BRIDGED TO ENSURE PROMISING FUTURE

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You have more than a three-decade long experience in Nepalese education sphere and PABSON stewardship. Based on your experience, what should the next level education be like in Nepal?

The present status of education can be defined in three categories. The children of first category are from high economic class who have been receiving international standard education with all sorts of modern facilities in Nepal. They have access to hi-tech and cutting-edge amenities. Around 20% population come under this category.

Second, it’s middle-class pupils that can be categorized into three groups, namely upper middle, middle and lower middle class. The upper middle-class people also have access to both modern technology and international standard education. They are guided by the aspiration to upgrade their status in high class ranking. This category also covers about 20% of population. Similarly, the middle-class students are in a huge problem to meet their expenses and are drawn in a huge debt to maintain their status. Their parents are compelled to provide quality education to them. This category also covers about 20% of country’s population. On the contrary, the middle lower-class people that account for about 20 % of the total population are living under financially wrenched condition.

The lower-class people are down-trodden population who are facing several problems and living under acute crises. They are unable to offer education to their offspring even in government school due to lack of paying and purchase of stationery capacity. This category also covers about 20% of country’s population.

So, the government should bring appropriate policy to enhance the access to quality education by people of all categories. Also, the government should encourage private investors, who have invested their labor and capital in education sector, to consolidate education into life-skills, culture and technology

You have shared your view on the need of education incorporating it with skills, culture and technology. To what extent are we successful in accomplishing our task and responsibility?

While analyzing both my school and PABSON, we are successful in many aspects, but from the perspective of mass population, we are still to do a lot to eliminate the existing discrimination in the community. Only the children from high economic status have access to hi-tech and international standard quality education.

A large number of foreign university agents organize education fair to manipulate the children of elite groups which has resulted in increasing brain-drain problem and outflow of huge national currency in foreign universities. Nonetheless, the government does not pay attention or ignores such a serious matter. So, we should jointly work to create a convincing environment in Nepal so that we can stop a large number of youths from going to foreign swathes in pursuit of higher education.

In this regard, instead of blaming private education sector and its investors, the government should bring encouraging policy to galvanize them.

As a PABSON administrator and school founder principal, how do you evaluate the assistance you have received from the local government, especially in monitoring and evaluation?

What suggestions would you like to give to the local government in this regard? In my experience, the monitoring part of the local level government is not satisfactory. There is lack of sufficient human resources in the department of education there. I suggest the government should extend the cooperation to the PABSON without any prejudices. In fact, from the perspective of the government, private education sector is thought to be competitor of the government, but it’s a companion. So, the local government should get help from the PABSON to fulfill the scarcity of human resources by accepting the representatives from PABSON.

Finally, what message would you like to convey to desperate parents that are in pursuit of right school for their child(ren)?

Financial status matters most while choosing an appealing school. So, parents should choose a school that offers education at an affordable fee structure although it depends on the status of the family. Similarly, they should choose the school which is nearer from their residence. But a frequent change in schooling of a child sabotages his/her progressive education. In this regard, parents should consider several things, such as financial status, distance and academic environment of school etc. before enrolling their child(ren) in a school.

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