Nepal's oldest schools attract more students with China-funded new building

2021-02-02 11:36:45 GMT2021-02-02 19:36:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Video PlayerClose

KATHMANDU, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- With the Durbar High School building in Nepal rebuilt by the Chinese government, spending Rs 850 million (7.24 million U.S. dollars) in place, the student's enrollment has increased like never before.

The multi-facility building which is shared by two schools, Bhanu School and Sanskrit School, had 438 students combined last year. However, there has been a huge surge in their numbers after the Chinese government handed over the property to the school management committee.

According to the record at school administration, Bhanu School and Sanskrit School now have 626 students combined, up by over 40 percent.

Bhanu School now has 314 students, more than a double compared to 150 prior to the reconstruction, and Sanskrit School has 312 students, increasing from 280.

"The attractive building with well-equipped science and computer labs and auditorium hall is the primary factor for encouraging enrolment of the students," Akhilesh Azad, principal of Bhanu School, told Xinhua on Monday.

"A majority of the new students have come from private schools and we are receiving enquiries for new admission on a daily basis."

Though the building was ready to come into operation last year, the teaching-learning in the physical presence of students started only last Sunday.

Constructed in 1891, the building was in a dilapidated condition which was ransacked by the devastating earthquake in 2015. The school had to be relocated to Balmiki College premise in Bhrikutimandap, some 500-meter east from the original location of the school.

The foundation stone for the building was laid in August 2018 and it was handed over to the school management by the Chinese government in September 2020.

Students say they are excited to be studying at the new building which is probably among the most equipped public schools in the country and better than most of private schools.

"I cannot tell how excited I am to study at a sophisticated building," Balram Dulal from Bhanu School, told Xinhua. "After years in a dilapidated and makeshift structure we are finally in the classrooms that are unbeatable in any regards."

The new infrastructure has attracted dozens of students from private schools as well, which is a rare trend in Nepal.

Aayush Devkota, a sixth grader, is among those students who have left private schools. Devkota left a private school in Nayabazar Kathmandu, to join Sanskrit School.

"The day I saw this building, I had decided this is going to be my new school," he told Xinhua. "Not just in its outer looks, the building has everything a proper school needs to have. It is better than the private school I had been studying all these years."

The separate desk and bench for each student, well ventilated classrooms and labs for practical education are all attractions for the students.

Teachers from both the schools housed in the building are elated to see their increasing attraction to students.

"The new building has come as an opportunity to revive the lost glory of Durbar High School," Shiva Raj Adhikari, principal at Sanskrit High School, told Xinhua. "We have a sound infrastructure. Now the challenge is to deliver quality education."

The 42-room modern building has a capacity to accommodate around 1,000 students. Enditem