Prominent Indian schools are attracting Nepali students beginning from early childhood to higher level at a time when Nepal is having political stability and expected to move ahead on the economic path. Though there is no exact figure as to how many Nepali students are pursuing school-level education in various Indian cities, according to Nepal government data, at least 10,000 students every year seek no objection certificates from the education ministry to pursue higher level education in various Indian academic institutions.
Due to similar socio-cultural milieu, open border, no visa provision to cross the border and easy connectivity, Nepali students find it easy to pursue either school or higher education in India. During the decade-long people's war from 1996 to 2006, there was a huge surge of Nepali students in Indian schools due to political instability. The trend never stopped as now, due to the political stability and five percent annual economic growth, many parents have started sending their children to various Indian schools despite the financial burden.
The 10th India and International Premier School Exhibition in Kathmandu beginning from Friday is a perfect example with 35 top Indian schools offering attractive packages to prospective Nepali students, including spot admissions. Prestigious schools in Dehradun, Kodaikanal, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are offering admission from primary to higher classes with the options of exclusive girls' and boys' schools, and co-educational schools. These schools provide Indian ICSE, CNSE, IGCSE and A level curriculum, organisers of the exhibition said.
The exhibition of India's finest schools in Kathmandu has been conceived with the aim of meeting the rising demand for quality Indian school education in Nepal, said one of the organisers, Sanjeev Bolia. The reasons behind bringing Indian schools to Kathmandu were that parents of schoolgoing children could directly interact with school representatives, get counselling free of cost, and know the fee structure, curriculum, accommodation and school environment, among others, said Bolia. India has been an education hub for Nepalis ever since the gurukul system of education started. The trend accelerated with the advancement in the education system after the initiation of formal education some 200 years ago.
Students in Nepal are quite familiar with college and university level education in India but such exhibitions, which benefit Nepali parents are rarely held , Prakash Subedi, who is planning to admit his son in Class 4 in an Indian school, told IANS. Although the trend of going to traditional Indian education destinations like Patna, Banaras, Deradun, Nainital, Darjeeling and Gorakhpur for school level education has slowed down, the attraction of going to other cities like Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, and Chandigarh have been going up in recent years, said parents.