Rein them

Published On: February 15, 2017 12:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Education consultancies 
In the recent years, the number of students leaving the country for abroad study is 
steadily rising. According to a 2016 data of Ministry of Education, number of students 
enrolling in academic institutions abroad has increased by three-fold in the last five years.

For example, in 2016 alone, 31,928 students obtained clearance certificates to study in 76 different countries. Total of 119,161 students have left the country for higher education in the last five years, according to MoE, 102 per day on an average. According to an informal estimate, a student spends at least one million rupees to get to the destination countries. Thus Nepal could be losing billions and trillions of rupees in capital flight. In a globalized world, students going abroad for education is normal. But the education consultancies which facilitate this process have been found not only to dupe the innocent students but also involved in a number of illegal activities.

As Republica has found out, less than half of such consultancies are registered with the government. Only around 900 of Nepal’s 2,500 plus consultancies have been legally registered. Many of these illegally-run institutions, we have found, are involved in human trafficking and money laundering as well. A dozens of students were stranded in St Lucia, a Caribbean island, because of some of these institutions here. They are now waiting for justice. These students not only lost their money, but also precious time of their life and they had to undergo physical as well as mental stress. It will take a while for them to get back to their feet again. We have also learned that the education consultancies do not pay taxes to the government. This is in fact troubling. When these institutions profit off from the money paid for by the people they claim to serve end up cheating the very government they rely on to send students abroad, there is no alternative to bringing them to book. 

Needless to say, providing services to Nepali students who wish to study abroad is a noble business. Some of the education consultancies in Nepal have provided much needed orientation education to prepare the young students for the new academic settings they will have to adjust with once they land in the foreign shores. Their education and exposure abroad will ultimately have positive impact on our society and the economy.

We have seen many who have returned to start new businesses and contribute to our ailing economy. However, when the very institutions that work as the first step toward 
educating our young minds are involved in wrongdoing, we, as a country, will be at the 
losing end.  Thus the government bodies must expedite the process of identifying the fraudsters and ensure justice to the victims. It is extremely necessary to mobilize the monitoring mechanisms so as to punish the institutions that are found to be doing illegal businesses. The education syndicates must not be given free hand to take the laws in their own hands. People’s faith in the government will increase only when it is seen to punish the fraudsters and ensure the victims get justice. 

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