Money matters in the rural campus

An effort of a few social workers and education enthusiasts to start an institution at the doorstep of 11 northern VDCs of the valley is suffering from a serious financial crisis, failing to grow out of its ‘infancy’ even after a decade of establishment.Students from places like Sankhu or Thali have to spend at least Rs 30 and 3 hours on the bus commuting to and from Kathmandu to attend university. Now, Kantipur Campus, an attempt to help village students have a higher education in their own area, is still to become successful, even though in theory it holds a lot of potential.The campus, with proficiency certificate level classes in Management and Humanities, has no building of its own, although the daily three-hour classes are being held in a local Kant Bhairab secondary school at Thali VDC. In spite of having been donated 2 hectares of land by the government, there is no sign of any construction work in the near future, thanks to the lack of resources.The rural campus has no other source of income except a yearly grant of Rs 60 thousand from Tribhuvan University (TU). “That amount of money is not even enough to meet our administrative costs, let alone salaries,” said an executive of the college, adding, “It’s more like a social service.”Regardless of initial expectations that the campus would benefit some 60 thousand people, events did not happen as expected. “Instead of 300 students, which we had thought would join during the starting phase, there are only 100 students at present,” the board member said.Notwithstanding time and money, the younger generation prefers city colleges instead of local ones. “It is not only a matter of education, but the cultural aspect is also more important to the youth,” says Suresh Dhakal of Thali. He did not want to continue his education at a village campus after completing school education. With the rural community in its vicinity, the college is struggling hard to convince youngsters like Suresh to take the opportunity on their doorstep. However, the struggle for the success of the campus will be really determined by the financial situation of the institution.