(TibetanReview.net, Jun16’19) – In clear violation of the government’s education guideline, many schools across Nepal have made it mandatory for students to learn Mandarin Chinese, lured by the Chinese government’s offer to provide the teachers free of cost, reported the Nepalese daily The Himalayan Times Jun 15. The report cited principals and staff of at least 10 renowned private schools as saying Mandarin was a compulsory subject in their institutions.
The report cited Shiv Raj Pant, board of trustee, founder and chairman of LRI School, as saying many more private schools in Pokhara, Dhulikhel, and other parts of the country had also made the national language of China compulsory for their students.
The requirement has been stated to be in violation of the nation’s education guideline.
“Schools are allowed to teach foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students,” Ganesh Prasad Bhattarai, information officer at the Curriculum Development Centre, a government body which designs school-level academic curriculum, was quoted as saying.
“If a subject has to be made compulsory, it is us who take the decisions, not the schools,” Bhattarai has emphasized.
The report said schools that had spoken to the daily were aware of this rule but simply overlooked it as they were getting Mandarin teachers for free.
“We introduced Mandarin as a compulsory subject two years ago after the Chinese Embassy agreed to provide teachers free of cost,” Kuldip Neupane, principal at United School, was quoted as saying.
The report said other schools also confirmed that the Mandarin teachers were being provided free of cost by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
“We only need to provide stipend to Chinese teachers to cover their accommodation and food costs,” Hari Dahal, principal of Apex Life School, was quoted as saying.