Gopal Parsad Banskota, a name that only a few of us have heard of, is one such teacher who has made a difference in the lives of many of his students. He has also been recognized with various honors and awards for his outstanding contribution to Ratna Rajya School. He was born in a family of five brothers. His father passed away when he was an infant. His four brothers have been mentors, guides and strength for him since then. Being the youngest among the five, he was showered with a lot of love. He reveled during the course of his interview that the only reason he got educated was because of his elder brothers. Banskota now spends most his time home. He has gone through various health complications and says that the only thing that motivates him and gives him the strength to fight the illness is the love and affection that he receives from his family members. Banskota spoke to ShradhaGyawali. Excerpts:
How is the world today different from what it was when you were a child?
There is a huge difference! The living standard of individuals, social relationships, exposure, everything is different from what it used to be in the past. People are now money oriented than they were before. There has been a change in family relationships too. People today are not working hard to succeed but rather to compete.
Of all the things you learnt from your elders; what do you think was most valuable?
Honesty and punctuality. I was always taught that one should be honest in every situation, no matter what. This lesson that I learnt as a child has helped me tremendously. To this day in my life I have never cheated or lied to anyone. Punctuality, on the other hand has been my strength. It has not only facilitated me to achieve what I worked for but it also helped me to set an example for my fellow students.
Over your experience, how have you seen the education system in Nepal evolve?
When I started working first there were no such things as student associations. Today, education has become a kind of politics in itself. Things have changed now. Teachers are not respected as much. There is indiscipline, which wasn’t the case before. As part of the education system myself, I feel brokenhearted to see how the system has been degrading over time.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I always wanted to teach. Being able to teach, and at the same time succeed as a teacher has made me really proud. The day my student received a 92% in the SLC Examination, I felt gratified, my happiness had no limits. Not only this, I also sense a great pleasure on having dedicated my life to educating the less privileged children of our society.
How do you see the growth of education system in Nepal both in school and higher up in the technical level, like in the medical and engineering colleges?
Schools and colleges have been mushrooming. Every time you switch on the television all you see is advertisements of colleges and schools. Education has become a business rather than being a service. We should stop making profits out of education. I think the government should start controlling and should start putting an upper limit to the number of schools and college that open up. Not only that the government should also evaluate the colleges and schools on certain parameters/ standards to ensure that the education sector is good and valuable for the students.
No one can put in words the definition of life as you can, hence how do you define life?
Life itself is a complex word and cannot be defined or put in words. To me, it’s the things you achieve or the hard work and effort you put in to achieve those things that define life or at least give an essence to your existence.