Some Public Schools in Nepal Are Running Empty

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According to the Kathmandu Times, some public schools in the western rural Nepal are running out of students, because of people migrating to urban areas and/or parents are choosing private schools instead of the public schools.

  • The trust of parents and students in public schools is decreasing, and it is so across the schools in the Karnali province. According to the Ministry of Social Development, Karnali, there are fewer than 10 students in 137 community schools in the province.
  • “There are 35 primary and basic schools in Kalimati Rural Municipality, and among them, nine schools have less than ten students and 26 schools have less than 40 students. The rural municipality spends around Rs130 million on the salaries of the teachers at the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels,” said Bharat Kumar Chand, head of the education unit of Kalimati Rural Municipality.
  • The government is spending millions in primary and basic schools, yet much of this money is being misused under the guise of paying salaries to teachers in schools with no students. Many teachers in remote areas continue to attend school even when no students are present. In such cases, locals also allege that teachers are misappropriating funds allocated for students’ mid-day meals.
  • According to the Education Development Directorate under the Ministry of Social Development, Karnali, there are 1,857 schools catering to grades 1 to 5, and 535 for grades 1 to 8. Likewise, 157 schools have fewer than 10 students. This all indicates that 30 percent of the province’s schools lack even the minimum enrolment requirement. Furthermore, 1,627 schools are operating with less than 40 students.
The Kathmandu Times

Some community view the empty public school problem as a result of poor management of public schools as well as poor quality of education.