A Chinese government's proposal of covering salaries of teachers in Nepal who teach Mandarin have prompted many private schools in the Himalayan kingdom to make it mandatory for students to learn the language, according to a media report.
The move came at a time when the Chinese involvement in Nepal is surging, largely on the back of Beijing's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a project boycotted by India as it comprises the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Many schools across Nepal have made it mandatory for students to learn Chinese lured by the Chinese government's offer to cover salaries of teachers who teach Mandarin, the Himalayan Times reported.
However, as per the guidelines laid down by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), a government body which designs school-level academic curriculum, schools in Nepal are allowed to teach foreign languages, but they cannot make those subjects mandatory for students.
The schools were aware of the provision, but they overlooked it as they are getting Mandarin teachers for free, the report said.
Also, as per the CDC rules, schools are not allowed to teach any foreign language within school hours, but none of the schools has obliged despite being aware of the provision, it said.