Nepal Charter School
Promotion of Right to Quality Education
Child Nepal (CN), the national level Non Government Organization (NGO) of Nepal, is working with its full commitment for the protection and promotion of child rights in Nepal. It is well known fact that the education is the integral part of the child rights. By realizing this very fact, Child Nepal (CN) is continuously devoting its concern and support in education sector of rural area of Sindhupalchok district and the slum area of Kathmandu valley.
Through the Synergy Foundation Nepal, the leadership of the experts from the United States (US), Child Nepal (CN), as the initiating organization, has taken initiation in the formation of Charter School. Education Ministry has provided verbal commitment to run four Charter Schools as a pilot project for the academic year 2011. Among four charter schools, as a model school, Child Nepal (CN) has run one charter school in Kapan VDC of Kathmandu valley.
The very basic concern of Child Nepal (CN) regarding the education is not only to promote the right to education but also to promote the right to quality education to the children. With this view, Child Nepal (CN) has introduced the concept of charter school in Nepal. As a recent development, a school has been established as named: “Nepal Charter School” in one of the slum areas of Kathmandu valley i.e. in Kapan VDC of Kathmandu district. In this school, mainly the children from the slum area are enrolled. Children are from the family of low economic background and the school has aimed to provide quality education to them.
In Nepal, legally, there are two types of school in the country: community and institutional (private). Community schools receive regular government grants whereas institutional (private) schools are funded by school’s own or other non-governmental sources. Institutional schools are registered either as a non-profit trust or as a company. However, in practical terms, schools are mainly of two types: public (community) and private (institutional).
Within these two types of school, they are several variations on different grounds. Basically, the students from poor economic background go to community school. The reason behind it is that private school charges expensive fee due to which the students from poor economic background cannot afford for the education. Community schools charges very nominal fee, however; it is against the norms of Right to Education as fundamental right guaranteed in Article 17 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal. Another distinction among them is related with quality education. Private schools are giving quality education in comparison to community schools because by charging expensive fee, private school can provide sophisticated facility for the students. Hence, both types of school have their own drawbacks.
Therefore, Child Nepal (CN) has realized a need of introducing the concept of charter school in Nepal. Child Nepal (CN) believes that the combine effort of Child Nepal as a National level NGO with community and state can uplift the quality of education. It is because the concept of charter school not only invokes about the right to education but also talk about the right to quality education. Charter School fit a niche between private and public school. Charter School as a newly emerged concept and module in education system is an appropriate education system in the context of Nepal where both government and private schooling systems have their drawbacks and flaws.
Additionally, community management schools have also not significantly been effective in quality education delivery in the schools, particularly in rural communities of Nepal. If we see the drop out rate among the school going children, the data is rampant and it is assumed that the number is in high. One of the main reasons behind drop out of the children from school is due to the poor economic condition of the family. Hence, the concept of charter school guarantees to resolve this problem. In this regard, the system of Charter School with resources support from government and management facilitation by non-government organizations can be much more fruitful for quality education.
For the “Nepal Charter School”, following activities have been already done:
- Registration of the school.
- Formation of school management committee.
- Conduction of survey for the availability of children in school.
- Conduction of admission campaign.
- Holding of parents meeting.
- Managing the building for school with two rooms.
- Managing the basic infrastructures for the school such as: some furniture, study materials, drinking water, and toilet.
- Regular campaigning for the incorporation of charter school in the legislative mechanism as well as in the state policy.