GORKHA, Feb 24
While the University Grants Commission (UGC) is all set to phase out scholarship program from January 2014, students covered under the program have urged the government to continue the program.
UGC has been providing scholarships to plus two and Bachelor level students below the poverty line. But the World Bank supported program is to be phased out from next year with the World Bank notifying UCG about completion of its second project on higher education assistance. Around 7,000 students of Higher Secondary and Bachelors degree have benefitted from the program that was launched in 2007, according to UGC officials.
As many as 3,637 plus two students and 3,293 bachelor level students have received the scholarships across the country whereas more than five dozen plus two and Bachelor level students have received scholarships in Gorkha in the last five years.
For students from the remote villages of Gorkha, the Student Financial Assistance Fund Development Board (SFAFDB) under UGC has turned to be a boon.
Sameer Gurung of Siddhibir VDC, Gorkha came to study in the district headquarters Gorkha Bazaar in August 2011 after he secured first division in SLC. “I would have discontinued my studies after SLC had I not received the scholarship. As I belong to a poor family, my parents would not have been able to finance my studies,” said Gurung. Sameer is currently a 12th grader at Mahalaxmi Higher Secondary School of Laxmi Bazaar and aims to become a teacher.
Plus two students receive Rs 16,000 in two installments whereas the Bachelor level students receive Rs 40,000 in three installments under the program.
Krishna Bahadur Pariyar, 39, enrolled in college, 10 years after he passed intermediate level. Poverty was the main reason he could not continue studies then. But he resumed his higher studies after he received UGC scholarship meant for poor and underprivileged students.
“There are so many students in Nepal who are compelled to quit studies due to poverty, so the government should lobby for continuing such programs,” said Pariyar.
However, Suresh BK,17, a 12th grader at Annapurna Higher Secondary School, Khoplang VDC is yet to get the scholarship amount. BK was selected for the scholarship.
“When I talked to the officials in Kathmandu, they told me that my identity matched with another student of Bajhang. But they did not clarify if I would receive the amount,” said BK in tears. His 65-year-old father is an asthma patient and his family of five is dependant on his mother´s income who works as a laborer.
Meanwhile, director of SFAFDB Prakash Ghimire said the students who have not received the scholarship amount will get the money soon.
Over the last five years, the government has already spent Rs100 million whereas an additional Rs 70 million has been allocated for the remaining one year term of the program, said Ghimire.
UGC had introduced the scholarship program based on the findings of the National Living Standard Survey conducted in the year 2003/2004, which stressed on the status of youths from the remote regions
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-02-25 02:14:35
Gorkha students want UGC to continue scholarship scheme