The Admission Rush

Bishnu Gautam

Two weeks after the publication of the Secondary Education Exam (SEE) results, students are now in a rush to get admitted in grade 11 in the academic institutes of their choice. Students from all over the country have arrived in Kathmandu in the hope of studying in better institutions although grades 11 and 12 are now a part of school-level education.
As the guardians are worried as to whether their wards get through the entrance examination in better institutes, the mushrooming schools and campuses running classes for 11 and 12 graders are resorting to different methods to lure more students. They have announced scholarships and other concessions for the students.
Moreover, a few institutions whose performance has remained excellent for the past few years, try not to lose the students getting high score in the SEE examination by taking entrance examinations earlier and fixing the deadlines for final admission before other institutions publish the results of the entrance examinations.
“Our son has appeared in the entrance examinations of a few colleges, including St. Xavier’s and SOS. He passed the entrance exam of a few and they have told us to admit him by July 9 whereas the results of St Xavier’s and SOS have not yet been made public. We are in uncertainty whether to admit him in other colleges or wait for the results,” a father was heard saying in a teashop. “If he fails get through the entrance exams in St Xavier’s or SOS, he will be missing other better institutes.”
Obviously, due to unhealthy competition among the colleges, the parents have no choice but to admit their wards in the institutes which publish the results of the entrance examinations.
When the parents and students are facing difficulty to choose the right institutes for their wards, the owners of the institutes are busy in managing the inflow of students. They take the entrance exams, in a few cases instantly and admit them taking a hefty amount of admission fees.
“It is our heyday now, we are busy admitting new students and have no free time for at least a fortnight.” A principal was heard responding a phone call while dealing with a group of parents sitting around his table in an institute. He was absolutely right to say so, because they will make at least Rs. 120,000 a year from a student, and if they miss to admit one, they will be losing the amount.
Many of the private institutes charge heavy admission and monthly fees whereas only a few ones charge reasonable fees. For example, an institute which has been listed among the top five in science stream charged only Rs. 45,000 for admission, tuition and hostel fees of three months for an 11 grader, another college of the same category charged Rs. 55,500 as admission and tuition fees of a month.
It means, one completes grade 11 including hostel stay at Rs. 180,000 excluding stationery costs in the first institute whereas in the second, one has to pay at least Rs.120,000 excluding stationery costs even while attending classes from home. Obviously, Rs. 100,000 will be insufficient to accommodate a student in Kathmandu for a year considering the growing prices of food and house rent.
This disparity in fee structure looks big, but there is no mechanism to monitor the monopoly of the mushrooming private academic institutions.

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