Five Nepalis top Cambridge worldwide exams

KATHMANDU: Ingroj Shrestha of Kathmandu Academy (KA) had completed only three papers of AS Level examination conducted by Cambridge University when he was attacked by typhoid.

For the few days of his stay in hospital, he did not only recuperate but constantly thought about his mathematics exam ahead. His doctor had prescribed complete rest, meaning he should not be attending the exam.

That he had not been able to prepare for his test at the most crucial hour did not deter him. Committed, he took the exam and the results? He topped the world in the very paper.

The British Council in Kathmandu and University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) jointly organised a programme in the capital today to felicitate him and his like.

Three other Nepali youths — Ashwin Joshi, Bijaya Adhikari and Suman Bhandari — secured the best score in the mathematics exam conducted by the CIE in 150 countries in the world, as students of Rato Bangala School (RBS), KA and Xavier International College, respectively.

Aditi Agrawal of RBS topped the worldwide exam in General Paper (International). Vice President Paramananda Jha gave the achievers Top in the World award.

“I fully focused on my exam even though I was hospitalised. I had not studied for about a week and was feeling weak. I solved the questions on the basis of whatever I had studied,” Ingroj told The Himalayan Times. He said his school and teachers had made plenty of study materials available to him. His brother Miroj said Ingroj is talented and hardworking.

Milan Dixit, principal of RBS, said the school’s philosophy of getting the teachers, students and parents to work together for students’ learning had been crucial to the academic excellence. “Our teachers are familiar with the university’s standards and the requirements of the course. They are dedicated and receive trainings quite frequently,” Dixit said.

Addressing the programme, Paula Middleton, Country Director, British Council Nepal, said the excellent results had proved that Nepali youths can perform and outperform all the best despite constraints such as power cuts.

“Nepal is in the top of the world not only with its magnificent Himalayas but also with its magnificent students,” she remarked recalling that the UK charity had been engaged with the Nepal Ministry of Education in sharing skills with teachers on English language teaching, classroom techniques and pedagogy for the last three years.

Ian Chambers, who manages the international examinations in South Asia, said the Cambridge focuses not in facts but in knowledge and it teaches students how to think not what to think. “Schools in Nepal are investing for the future of your children,” he told attending guardians.

Speaking on the occasion, VP Jha said he was proud that Nepali students were producing world-class results. “We are in course of building a new Nepal, which is impossible without quality education,” he pointed out.

The Cambridge degree is globally accredited. Pratistha Koirala, who completed the course from Chelsea International Academy, said it gives them more options than equivalent courses provided by the Tribhuvan University or the Higher Secondary Education Board. “What’s more, the study period is flexible. If you feel you are not prepared for the exam, you may take it later without being labelled a failure,” she added.

Nevertheless, the course is not affordable for students who do not have a strong financial support since one needs to pay the university separately for each paper chosen plus high admission and tuition fees to their colleges. However, students can enroll for the exam independently too.