Print Edition - 2015-03-11 | News
Samata starts ‘cheapest’ Master’s programme
Mar 10, 2015-
Samata Sikshya Niketan (SSK), an academic institution which has gained fame for low cost quality education, has formally started a Master’s level programme becoming probably the only non-government institution in the world to provide all levels of education for the monthly fee of just Rs 100 ($1).
With the launch of the Masters in Business Studies (MBS) programme on Tuesday, Samata students can now study from Kindergarten to post-graduate level in the same institution. The programme was jointly inaugurated by Non-Resident Nepali Association former chairmen Upendra Mahato and Jiba Lamichhane, actors Madan Krishna Shrestha and Haribansha Acharya, social worker Anuradha Koirala and Samata founder Uttam Sanjel on the SSK premises at Jorpati in the Capital.
During inaugural programme, student representatives from Nursery to Master’s level in the institution were called to the stage showing how all Samata students are equal as they study under the same roof, share similar social background and most importantly pay the equal amount of fee irrespective of their levels. Addressing the programme, Sanjel said Samata is now an institution with over 42,000 students, 75 percent of whom are girls, in 45 institutions in 42 districts across the country.
Meanwhile, Samata will soon be applying for Guinness World Records for official recognition as the cheapest academic institution in the world.
Established in 2001 with few hundred students, the institution now stands second in the country after Tribhuvan University in terms of student enrolment. Sanjel said he is working to establish 33 schools in the next five years so that each district in the country has at least one Samata School where students from the poor section of the society can get quality education in less than what they pay in public schools.
According to Sanjel, the annual expenditure of Samata stands at Rs 22.5 million and just 20 percent of the cost is met by tuition fee raised from its students. It pays Rs 100 million for land lease, Rs 10 million as salaries to teachers as well as staffers and Rs 2.5 million for maintenance while it collects Rs 5 million from students. “The greatest challenge is to manage around Rs 180 million while there is no regular donor except Mahato,” he said.
In response, Mahato who has already provided Rs 36.5 million to Samata said he will continue supporting the institution in future. Actors Shrestha and Acharya said their greatest happiness would be to see Samata School in all districts across the country.
Published: 11-03-2015 06:29