Kantipur FM Commentary: School Fees And Social Status I

Continuing with publishing Kantipur FM commentaries I made as the host of a radio show way back in the Spring of 1998…this commentary accompanied the March 8 show, a follow-up to the February 2 show.

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[Opening jingle]

Awe right….

It’s me again, back with another hour of the Marlboro Music Network here on the one and only Kantipur FM. This is Dorje.

This morning I was reading yesterday’s issue of The Kathmandu Post when I came across a short write-up in the Valley/Nation section in the Off the Beat column.

And that took me back to the hour when I talked about school fees. And this hour’s question has something to do with something I raised then.

The question is: What does ECA stand for?

While you ponder over that questions, here’s are the Backstreet Boys with That’s the Way I Like It.

[Music, Backstreet Boys followed by the Rolling Stones.]

And that was the Rolling Stones with Anybody Seen My Baby.

As parents are looking to enrol their children at different schools, the issue of fees is a relevant one. Early last month I talked about the ridiculously expensive fees that schools charge. This write-up in The Kathmandu Post however has something different to say. More about that later.

In the mean time, here’s Courtney Pine with Nice Time.

[Music, Courtney Pine followed by INXS.]

And following Courtney Pine was INXS with I’m Just a Man.

Going back to the column in yesterday’s Kathmandu Post…. I want to actually quote part of the column, and it goes like this:

“Harassed mothers, beleaguered fathers, hassled principals, and flabbergasted tiny tots — the tension in the air is indeed nerve wracking! The reason for the anxiety is more weird than valid — for it is school admission time in Kathmandu.

“Admission of children cannot be taken lightly now-a-days as the states of the family in society is going to depend on the name of the school the child is admitted to. For it enables the father to boast with his evening buddies that he doles out out a neat Rs. 3000 plus/month [approx. US$45 then] or the mother use it as a cosmetic of snobbery in her circuit.”

And what does this have to do with ECA and what it stands for? Stick around.

In the mean time, here’s Michael Learns to Rock with Romantic Balcony.

[Music, Michael Learns to Rock followed by Aerosmith.]

And that was Aerosmith with Hole in My Soul.

I want to take you back to early February when I talked about the break down of fees charged for education of a child at a school. One of the charges was for ECA and I had confessed to not knowing what it stood for. Now I think I have cracked the mystery.

ECA stands for Extra-Curricular Activities.

Yippie! I’m a happier person for that!!

Now, the fees for ECA was in addition to charges for games! Games–Extra-Curricular Activities, Extra-Curricular Activities–Games…can someone please explain the difference to me?! More about all that later.

In the mean time here’s Joan Jett and The Blackhearts with I Hate Myself for Loving You.

[Music, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts followed by Angelique Kidjo.]

And that was — and I am sure I am going to pronounce this wrong — Angelique Kidjo with what to me appears to be Tché-Tché. You see that was an African artist with a song in some African language. Swahili maybe?

Going back to fees, social status and cosmetic snobbery…. If a school charges insane fees, redundant fees — such as fees for both games and ECA, both dormitory and room and board, and there are a few others — and if the situation and attitude amongst the families in Kathmandu is as what this column states — if the amount of fees paid is an issue of social status — then what is the problem? More about that later.

In the mean time here’s Boris Gardiner with You Are My Destiny.

[Music, Boris Gardiner followed by Jon Bon Jovi.]

And that was Jon Bon Jovi with Janie Don’t You Take Your Love to Town.

The problem with paying unreasonable fees in order to gain social status, I feel, is missing the point, the point of sending our kids to schools!

We contribute to and promote the conversion of education to a money-making scheme. You see anyone can open and operate an expensive educational institution. It’s a good educational institution that’s difficult to open and operate.

And that pretty much brings me to the end of this hour. Stay tuned for Panther Hotline with Bimal, Rajani and Madan K.C. This is Dorje signing off with Queen and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

Tune in tomorrow at seven. Good night.


References (added after publication of the blog post)

Mountain TV’s report on a school that is fleecing families of their students. [Added April 13, 2018.]



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