School entry lottery in Nepal

The Himalayan Times reports:

Lottery to attend public schools: NSEP should aim for this
By Simone Galimberti, Jul 13, 2021

Recently St. Xavier’s School, a prestigious educational institution in the country, conducted the selection process for students for the new upcoming school year. It is a rigorous and transparent process that sees thousands of families hoping to get their children admitted to a sound environment focused on the “whole” development of the student.

Despite the strict selection criteria with tests and various requirements, the senior management of St. Xavier’s School was forced, given the high number of applications, to also include in the process, at least for some of the places available, a sortition procedure to finalise the names of admitted students. In order to assure the highest levels of integrity, in what is ultimately a lottery for those who had already met the eligibility criteria, the entire process was broadcast live on TV nationally.

While many well deserving students ended up with empty hands and a big disappointment for missing out a great chance, those selected and their respected families were jubilant for joining a world-class educational programme that puts a premium on the humanistic aspect of the learning process, a key pillar of the approach to education imparted by Jesuits around the world.

While I was always aware of the competitiveness to join an institution like St. Xavier’s School, I was surprised by the fact that a final sortition procedure had to be contemplated in order to deal with the high demand of applicants. In one way, I see this as a success story as the country can count on an increasing number of high quality schools that are able to offer the best possible education available: great teachers, great infrastructure and teaching philosophies that are centered on the students’ needs.

At the same time, on the other hand, I think of it as a failure of the entire education system as such competition for the best schools could have been simply avoided if public schools, those now under the auspices of the local government, could enhance their standards and overall performances.

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