Govt mulls mainstreaming Gurukul system

Kathmandu, February 5:

The Ministry of Education and Sports is planning to incorporate Gurukul system into the mainstream national education and has started consultation with concerned stakeholders for the same.

“It has come to our notice that such types of educational system is still in existence, hence there is need to bring them to the mainstream so that the number of ‘out of school’ children can be decreased,” Jeewan Poudel, deputy director at the Department of Education (DoE) told this daily. “It will come into effect from the next academic session.” The government formulated a policy last year to include Gumbas and Madrasas in the mainstream national education system. “Gumbas and Madrasas conduct classes up to the Masters level but they have not been recorded in the government statistics,” said Poudel.

A workshop for incorporating ‘Gurukul’ and ‘Ashram’ into mainstream education will take place in Bharatpur in a month, according to DoE. The Jogis teach a few disciples in some temples and Ashrams of Devghat and Janakpur. But the exact number of students staying in Gurukuls is still not known.

Keshav Prasad Adhikary, principal of Nepal Veda Vidyashram, said Ram Mandir at Gaushala, too, has some 50 disciples who are learning ‘Karma Kanda’.

Adhikary said education should preserve our culture. “If the government takes it in a more systematic manner, it will prove beneficial,” said Adhikary. There are about 20 schools under Nepal Veda Vidyashram and six high schools have been producing SLC graduates since 1986.

It is estimated that 2000 Gumbas and 1500 Madrasas are running with 1,25000 students in the country. As per a draft paper for mainstreaming Madrasa and Gumba education prepared by the Curriculum Development Center, around 1500 Gumbas are registered with the Monastery Management and Development Committee in which there is no representation of the Education Ministry. Laba Prasad Tripathee, spokesperson at the Education Ministry, said the government has felt the need of mainstreaming such education so that the students produced from such schools can be transferred to the public or private schools.

“Registered Madrasas and Gumbas will be given textbooks for free, training will be provided to teachers (Lamas and Mulwis), and teacher quotas will be provided to public Gumbas and Madrasas,” a draft on Mainstreaming of Gumbas and Madrasas said.