(LAPILANG)DOLAKHA, Jan 20: There is only one school in entire Kalingchowk Rural Municipality of Dolakka - Lapilang Secondary School - that offers technical education to students. However, very few of these students are from the municipality. Among a total of 31 students in the three-year diploma in agricultural science, only five are locals. According to the school principal Deepak Khadka, technical education is considered rather difficult.
In a bid to promote technical education, the government had introduced 'at least one technical school in one local level' policy two years ago. It was under this program that Lapilang Secondary School received permission and resources to run Diploma level classes in agricultural science. In the first year, there were quotas for 40 students, including three seats allocated for students recommended by the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). But not more than 19 students applied for the course then. Even among those, four students quit without completing the course.
Last year, the government allowed the school to expand the student quota to 80. However, only 16 students applied for the course. "We have just 31 students in total - the previous year's 15 and the last year's 16. We should have far more students than this," said Khadka. "And sadly, even these students are not locals except five. Most of them are from other towns and villages," he added.
According to Khadka, the opportunity to have resources to provide technical education is remarkable. For students from underprivileged and poor families, it helps greatly. "But the targeted people have not taken the benefit." In the first hand, it is simply not easy to get through the entrance test for technical education. Only the students who have fared well in both Mathematics and Science in their Secondary Education Examination can sit for it, according to Khadka.
"Passing the entrance test is hard. And then, it necessitates physical presence, attendance is taken seriously," he said.
A considerable number of students of the diploma course are from Madhesh. One is Bal Kumar Ram of Katahariya Municipality – 9 of Rautahat district. He was recommended by CTEVT on merit basis and is now studying in the first year of the diploma course.
There are two other students from his village. They state that they are extremely happy to have got this opportunity. According to Rawal Kumar Das, also a first year student, the cool and beauty of the mountains have fascinated him. "I am learning modern farming and many other agricultural techniques in this beautiful village. I am really happy," he said.
Rajan Das, also from Rautahat, is grateful. He is among the few lucky students who have got full scholarship for the course. "We don't have to pay for the course and residence. We cook for ourselves, we have to manage just that much," Das said. "After completing the course, we can definitely have a safe landing. Job would not be a problem, "he said in an elated voice.
A total of six students, recommended by CTEVT have received full scholarship while others have to pay Rs 150,000 for the three-year course.
Except from Madhes, students from Karnali have been enrollment for the course. Bishnuraj Dhakal of Tachakot Rural Municipality – 4 of Humla had earlier completed JTA course before joining the diploma course.
Anu Waiba of Thaha Municipality – 5 of Makawanpur district stated that she would return to her village and do something to promote agriculture. "After completing this course, I will get back to my village and do something in the field of agriculture. My parents are also farmers," she said.
Shovita Shrestha, a local of Helambu Rural Municipality of Sindhupalchowk, stated that it was her childhood dream to pursue technical education. "And this course fulfilled this dream. After completing the course, I will look for an appropriate job," she said.