This webinar, entitled ‘Different Perspectives on Education in Nepal’, was Part 1 of the BRANNGO Specialist Dialogues Webinar programme.  The Guest Speaker was Mr Bil Prasad Gurung, Headteacher of Shree Jana Jyoti Government Secondary School, Gandaki Province.


With 29 years of experience as a teacher and 18 years experience as the Headmaster of Shree Jana Jyoti Secondary School, we were very fortunate to have Bil Gurung as our Guest Speaker at our recent BRANNGO event.

Located 1060 metres above sea level in Lamjung District, Shree Jana School has 160 students ranging from Year 5 to Year 10.   Founded in 1976, it has improved hugely over time and is now a thriving community with access to the internet and electricity.  There is good light in the classrooms, a library and playground. The facilities are good and computers are available.

Our discussion focussed on the challenges that Bil and his school face.  This provided an opportunity for NGO’s to gain an insight into these challenges first hand and ask questions that gave help in supporting their future funding strategy.

Key Points of Discussion   

Science, Maths, IT and English Specialist teachers are key.

Bil explained how difficult it was to hire and retain good teachers.  The process of selecting Specialist Teachers is very tough and has to go through the Teachers Commission Board.  There is a lack of manpower at this higher level of teaching.

Shree Jana school is fortunate enough to have a specialist IT teacher who is able to offer excellent teaching and also offers an extra optional lesson in computers.  Bil explained how the content of the Government computer text book is narrow and how it is hard to find extra resources due to the distance of shops and the market area.

Teacher Training is essential. 

Bil spoke about the lack of good quality teacher training that was in place and that without this facility it was hard for lessons to be child-friendly and creative. Even with good resources, it is difficult for teachers to write a lesson plan and teach effectively without good training.

Migration from villages to towns and overseas is a very difficult challenge. 

Bil explained that this was a huge challenge for the village and school. Many families are leaving the Lamjung area and only very poor families remain behind.  Financial rewards are the main drive and there is little incentive to stay in the village.

Student Drop out rate is a real concern

Out of 160 students, only very few go on to Further Education.  University education is very expensive and parents have to pay.  The school does offer a Scholarship scheme, but the criteria is strict and only those who are academically strong and from marginalised backgrounds are eligible.

Huge progress in the equality between boys and girls 

Bil acknowledged that huge progress has been made to reduce the opportunity divide between boys and girls and that the Dahlit Community were now integrated into society and their children attended school.

Local community decides how to spend funding

Bil outlined how involved the community were in decisions relating to how money was spent.  Women’s Groups, the Ward Chairman and Committee and the Local Municipality all came together. The conversation around restricted and unrestricted funding is becoming more and more frequent.

Lack of Government Funding 

Bil explained how there was a very small Government budget for improvement to schools who needed it the most and that his school was mostly reliant on INGO’s and NGO’s for their funding.

Bil was hugely proud of his school and, from what he described, it felt a thriving, happy community.  However, he has many challenges, of which many he has overcome, and some are ongoing.  He summed up very succinctly for us at the end of the webinar what his main priorities as a Headteacher are and what ultimately drives him to continue his amazing work and that is: care for the community and care for all his students.  

Bil told us that his priorities for funding are to:

  • Eradicate poverty
  • Increase Teacher Training, especially for Specialist Teachers
  • Increase the parents awareness programme
  • Reduce the student drop out rate by increasing scholarships and introducing vocational qualifications
  • Maintain infrastructure

The BRANNGO team would like to say thank you very much to Mr Bil Prasad Gurung for sparing the time in his busy schedule to tell his story and answer our questions.  It was an extremely interesting, inspiring discussion and a great start to our Specialist Dialogue series on ‘Different Perspectives on Education in Nepal’.

Please join us for Part 2 in our series.  Date to be confirmed, but it will be publicised on our Website and Facebook page very soon.