Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepal, the land of the legendary Yeti, the birth place of Lord Buddha and home to the highest mountain of the world – Mt. Everest, is unfortunately one of the least developed countries in the world. Its GDP per capita is only US$ 377 when the average GNI per capita of South Asian nations stands at $3,343. It also has the lowest literacy rate (65.5% ) in South Asia. Nepal was ranked 54th worst of 81 countries (those with GHI>5.0) on the Global Hunger Index in 2011.
Budhanilkantha School (CEEB Code: 689070), located in the capital city, Kathmandu, is the government designated National School of Nepal. It is a fully residential English medium school established in December 1972 with the joint cooperation of the Government of Nepal and the Government of the United Kingdom (UK). In the first two decades of its operation, the school was headed by a succession of British Headmasters who did an excellent job of establishing and shaping the school into a “Center of Excellence”. The school was handed over to the Nepalese management in 1994 and since then it has continued to maintain the same high standards in all fronts. At present, the number of faculty is 75 and the support staff is 155 with student faculty ratio of almost 13:1.
The School managed under the Public Trust, the main Trustee being the Ministry of Education. The Board of Trustees and the School Management Committee (SMC) are chaired by the Education Secretary and the Joint Secretary respectively. Society of Ex Budhanilkantha Students (SEBS), the alumni association, and Friends of Budhanilkantha School (FOBS) are the two organizations that keenly take interest in the welfare of the school.
Currently there are 1078 students, of which 40% are girls. Students are selected from a wide range of socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds through a very highly competitive Entrance Test. About one-third of the total students are on scholarship sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Nepal. The scholarship is provided to the meritorious and the needy ones from the weak social, economic and geographical backgrounds and from all the seventy-five districts of Nepal. The main entry of the students takes place in grade 5 and these students go on to take the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) at the end of grade 10. After that, students from the school, together with the selective students from other schools, are selected to do either the GCE A-Level program of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), UK or the Grade 11 & 12 (science program) of the National Education Board (NEB), Nepal.
Initially the school was set up as a boarding school for boys only. In 1991, the school was made co-educational. At present there are five houses for girls and eight for boys. Senior students reside in four different Houses (Byasrishi and Gaurishankar for boys, and Choyu and Ratnachuli for girls) that are under the charge of Heads of House. The school has been demonstrating that it is not only able to achieve excellent results in the SEE and NEB Examinations, but also achieve results significantly above international averages in the Cambridge International A’ Levels of the University of Cambridge, UK. The school has, therefore, been awarded the prestigious Birendra Vidya Award several times by the Ministry of Education (a national honor for academic excellence) and in effect a public recognition that Budhanilkantha is one of the best schools in the country. In fact, it has been regularly topped the list of good schools in Nepal