Valley colleges eye expansion outside after quakes, federalism deal

  • higher secondary education
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Jun 27, 2015-

With a decline in the number of students coming to the Capital after the devastating earthquake and the political parties getting close to promulgating a federal constitution, private higher secondary schools are eyeing expansion outside the Valley.

Every year thousands of School Leaving Certificate graduates come to Kathmandu for higher secondary education. A rough estimate of the Higher Secondary Schools Association Nepal (Hissan) shows that around 40 percent students in Grades 11 and 12 are from outside Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu is also the hub for those who want to pursue their HS schooling in the Science stream as 80 percent of total students in the faculty study in the Capital.

However, the numbers are likely to dwindle post earthquake as people still consider the Capital, a Hill and densely populated area, unsafe to live in.

If the effect in the school level repeats in the HS schooling, there will be at least 10 percent drop in admissions, meaning that many Plus Two colleges will struggle for survival. As there has not been a significant growth in the SLC pass rate, the challenge is bigger.

In this context, private HS school operators have expansion plans in big cities outside the Valley. According to Hissan Chairman Umesh Shrestha, many operators are studying the feasibility while some have already started operations in partnership with local institutions.

Shrestha, who already has HS schools in two places outside, says it is the right time for expansion as the country is going federal soon. “The disaster also presents an opportunity. There is high demand for good academic institutions outside the Valley and this has grown after the earthquakes,” he said.

According to Hissan officials, it will be difficult for many HS schools in the Capital to get an adequate number of students this year. Though reputed schools will not suffer significant losses, those targeting students mainly from the Tarai will face a remarkable decline.

Currently, around 650 HS schools are in operation in the Valley and many of them are struggling to survive. The Higher Secondary Education Board last week cancelled the licence of 71 schools—40 percent of them in the Valley—for their failure to run the classes in the lack of adequate enrolment. “Dozens of HS school operators have started looking for appropriate places for expansion,” said Hissan General Secretary Yub Raj Sharma. “I am sure many of them will open their branches next year.”

Published: 28-06-2015 07:41

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