Kathmandu: Many schools across Nepal have made it mandatory for students to learn Mandarin lured by the Chinese government’s offer to cover salaries of teachers who teach the language, a media report said on Saturday. Principals and staff of at least 10 renowned private schools told The Himalayan Times that Mandarin was a compulsory subject in their institutions. Many more private schools in Pokhara, Dhulikhel and other parts of the country have also made Mandarin compulsory for students, according to Shiv Raj Pant, board of trustee, founder and chairman of LRI School.
“Schools are allowed to teach foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students,” said Ganesh Prasad Bhattarai, information officer at the Curriculum Development Centre, a government body which designs school-level academic curriculum. “If a subject has to be made compulsory, it is us who take the decisions, not the schools.” “We introduced Mandarin as a compulsory subject two years ago after the Chinese Embassy agreed to provide teachers free of cost,” said Kuldip Neupane, principal at United School. (IANS)