POKHARA, May 30: Gone are the days when most parents used to enroll their children at private schools in the hope that their offspring would get a better education.
In Pokhara, the trend is now reversing, albeit slowly. Even those parents who earlier sent their children to expensive private schools are now enrolling them at government schools.
Until a few years ago, the private schools used to attract a large number of students from community schools. But with the community schools starting to provide a better education in English medium, the attention of parents and students has turned in that direction.
More than 200 students from private schools have come for admission at Bal Mandir Higher Secondary School at Nandipur, this year. Among them only 100 managed to get admission.
Susil Basnet, Principal of the school, said that every year a large number of students from private schools come for admission to his school. Because of such students, the school is facing enrollment pressure in grades 6 to 9.
“With our limited infrastructure, we are unable to admit all the students,” he said.
The school started to teach entirely in English medium from 2008. Thanks to quality education, the school has a more than 90 percent success rate in the SLC.
Among 970 students enrolling in the school most are Dalits and from a poor financial background. The school has also managed to take additional classes for weak students.
Students can get a computer class for Rs 50 per month. The school is planning to run classes through multimedia in the near future.
Chief District Officer Chandra Kanta Bhusal of Kaski said that community schools like the Bal Mandir and some others are a challenge to the pre-conception that "private schools are the only option for a better education."
He said the image of government schools is changing because of the availability of trained and qualified teachers, teaching in English and improvement in school management.