Just two years ago the school had more than 80 students per class, but there are now only eight students in the entire school, of whom five belong to the same family. Four private schools opened simultaneously in the region, following which the 'wealthy' locals of Ilam decided to spend more on their children's education. Some parents still enrol their children in community schools in order to receive compensation from the government but send them to private schools for their actual tuition.
Says local Bhednath Khatiwada, "Unlike community schools, private ones include an English curriculum." This is attractive to students and their parents. "Had community schools incorporated English, the students might not have moved to private schools," he adds.
Meanwhile, the irregularity and deteriorating quality of education in community schools is worrying those who cannot afford to send their children to private schools.