A govt school with a difference

KATHMANDU: What would be your general impression when one talks about a government school’s performance in the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination? Probably 70 per cent failure. Well, Nepal Ved Vidyashram located in the Pashupatinath area might be an exception.

All 25 students who the school sent to SLC last year got through the ‘iron gate’, 19 of them in the first division. This year, 29 students, who appeared in the send-up examination, got through the pre-qualifying test and are aspiring to come out in flying colours in the school-end examination.

As a Sanskrit secondary school, the school does not have subjects like English, Science or Computer, those considered score banks for students. Instead, the students here study five subjects on Sanskrit language and literature.

Seven residential students are spending most of their time on study and are determined to get a first division. Rochak Poudel, a resident of Ramechhap staying in the school hostel for the last six years, scored 70 per cent in the send-up exam. He says he, as well as his companions, studies from 5 in the morning and till 10 at night, excluding time for prayer, play and food. “Securing a distinction may not be very easy, but I am determined to get a first division score,” he shared. Girija Poudel and Umesh Dhungana are other committed students.

Asked what helped them get such a good academic record, the boys shared it was their hard work and the teachers’ dedicated job. Head teacher Madhav Dhungel agrees with them. “Our students are dedicated. Sanskrit and Nepali subjects are easy for them but they find mathematics a bit hard to crack,” he said.

The number of students enrolled in the school, however, is in a decreasing trend. Dhungel attributes it to new schools opening up every year. There are six such schools in Kathmandu valley alone while ours was the only one for long. Sanskrit schools are spreading to other districts as well. The Vidyashram provides food and accommodation to 75 students, one from each district. But the students have been without the care of a warden for quite some time. “The younger ones are without care. We’ve also been deprived of opportunities to consult a teacher out of the school hour for study-related problems,” they shared.

Of the eight subjects included in the curriculum, Nepali, Social Studies and Mathematics are common with other schools. Yajurved, Samaved, Karmakanda, Sanskrit Literature, Sanskrit Byakaran and Jyotish are other subjects the students study.