How many boys and girls hostel are there inside and outside of Kathmandu valley?
Hostels originated from Kathmandu. You can find hostel facilities more in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Inside the valley there are nearly 600 hostels. Outside the valley there are approximately 900 hostels. We have branches in Chitwan, Kaski and Morang. After the transitional phase of our government now every estate with their own capital will now have a hostel. We have high probability of more hostel facilities outside Kathmandu.
Students from what academic background come for staying at hostels?
In other districts students who have appeared SEE come to stay in a hostel. Inside Kathmandu, those students who are doing Plus 2 studies, Bachelor level, Bridge course, MBBS preparation, Nursing preparation, IELTS course stay in a hostel for duration of minimum 1 and half months to 2/3 years.
Is there an entry criteria for staying at hostel?
Yes, we have. In Kathmandu those students who have finished SEE are only given chance to enroll in private hostels. They have not included students from 8, 9 or 10th grades. Age group of 16 and up are using hostel. When students come to stay in hostel he/she must come with their parents or guardians. If someone have come from remote places in that case we talk with their parents and ask about his background and reason for coming to stay in a hostel. If three or four people come from far away they bring one guardian at least to represent and that is also fine. We sign forms of Nepal Hostel Association with the guardians on mutual agreement terms and conditions.
The record of students in a hostel is kept by the hostel only or by Nepal Hostel Association in general?
Right now the records of students are with hostels only. But the documents that are signed are of Nepal Hostel Association. The forms circulated by Nepal Hostel Association are marked by serial numbers so we do have a record of which hostel took what serial number of forms. If a problem arises we know the name of the students along with the name of hostel by verification of serial number. In this way we keep track of statistics of hostels inside and outside the valley.
If any unprecedented situation happens inside a hostel does Nepal Hostel Association take any kind of action?
When a problem arises, we have District Working Committee and if from there also we don’t find a solution we go to Central Committee also in order to crack the complexity of the problem. Depending on the cases whether it is a problem of the students or problem of hostel itself when it is known to Nepal Hostel Association, then we look into the case to come to a meaningful solution.
Do you have any standard criteria for charging hostel fees?
Yes we have. Every year on the month of Chaitra, Nepal Hostel Association publishes notice regarding hostel fees which is implemented from Baisakh. We also look into the hostels infrastructure; there should be appropriated beds, table, cupboard, carpeting, four time meals, 24 hours water and electricity, WiFi. Girls stay is charged NPR 8500-NPR12000 based on facilities provided by hostel and boys NPR9000 to maximum NPR13000. Extra charges are according to level of services given by hostel.
Does Nepal Hostel Association inspect on service quality maintained by the hostels inside and outside Kathmandu valley?
Central committee has also established the investigation committee to look after any issues and problems of the hostels in Nepal. Nepal Hostel Association itself looks after those problems. We look after how the hostels are run in and outside valley. If the hostels are not running as per standard rules we give them a reminder notice also. If the disputes cannot be controlled through mitigation we take help of Nepal Police. So that the hostel can run as per rules of Nepal Hostel Association. We inspect about hostel’s quality and hygiene of food, how many days you give cooked meat in a week, given egg or not, water is purified or not. In this way we are checking on service quality of hostels during our visit.
Are there any facilities given by hostel to deserving students?
Till now we have not received any of those facilities from our government. Private hostel has not been able to provide these facilities. But on the basis of circumstance we give our help and support. If someone wants to pay one year fees in advance we give them certain facility. An owner can give personal attention to a student’s weak financial situation from his side.
If anyone wants to run a hostel what are the minimum criteria he should meet?
The total investment in Hostel industry is NPR 90 crores. In Kathmandu 18,000 to 20,000 students come to hostels. Hostels have opened to enroll 23000 to 24000 students. If anyone wants to run a hostel he should take a building with a compound. If the occupancy is less than 50 we will not consider it as a hostel. In Kathmandu, Nepal Hostel Association does not recommend a hostel which has below 30 rooms. A room should have a bed, table, cupboard and there must be kitchen and office. The owner must have an agreement paper, photocopy of citizenship. Then after having these documents they come to Hostel Association and fill up a form. After that our team goes for inspection about hostel’s condition and fill up a form after assessment .If it is okay they will recommend to us if not then they will mention need improvement.
Any messages you would like to give for hostel owners and students coming to hostel?
Hostel is a service sector industry. It is not only for profit making like financial institutes. This industry is also giving employment opportunities. Some people have become self-employed also. The government should also give a consideration that this is a place where students stay. What kind of infrastructure can the government provide for the students? Most of the owners are women so training can be given to them also. There can be terrace farming also where a hostel can grow its own organic vegetables. If the municipality takes into consideration these things the hostel owners will benefit immensely. The environment will also be clean. While running hostel rules are very important. Hostel Association must guide hostels for the students who carry with them a bright future for nation’s development. They are the torch bearers so we should look after them like their guardians.
Mr. Govinda Giri
Managing Director-Marigold Girl’s Hostel
General Secretary-Nepal Hostel Association Central committee.
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Mahabir Pun is a Nepalese teacher, social entrepreneur and an activist known for his extensive work in applying wireless technologies to develop remote areas of the Himalayas, also known as the Nepal Wireless Networking Project. He is a widely known figure in Nepal, and his work has been recognized by the Ashoka Foundation, the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, University of Nebraska, and Global Ideas Bank.