ECAN-Bridging the gap between students and their education
Within the current context of students going abroad for further studies, there exists a lack of strong monitoring mechanisms on the part of the government. To bridge this gap, the Education Consultancy Association of Nepal (ECAN)—a non-profit umbrella organisation that encompasses 301 education consultancies operating in Nepal—has been offering guidance and counselling to students and guardians to assist them in their decisions.
Established in 1997, ECAN has been working in a full-fledged manner since 2007, with the creation of its own code of conduct to monitor the activities of its member organisations. So far, through its member organisations, ECAN has sent students to 60-63 countries. In order to create more widespread awareness about prospects and challenges of studying abroad, ECAN has also been organising an annual educational fair since 2007.
“Since its inception, ECAN’s sole purpose has been to forbid its members from giving false promises and information to students. We wish to assist students in making their landing in a foreign country for education as smooth as possible,” said Kumar Karki, executive board member and the current secretary of ECAN. “Member consultancies must meet certain criteria. An example is that the consultancy must represent at least one college or university abroad, and we have a number of terms and conditions by which they must all abide,” Karki added
In order to make its work more effective and to give reliable information to students, ECAN has been working in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and foreign embassies and consulates. Aside from that, ECAN also has its own memorandum and regularly monitors how its member consultancies are working. “ECAN monitors the overall activities of its member consultancies. If they overcharge or try to deceive students, we punish them. Annually, we’ve been suspending four to five consultancies from our list of members,” said Rudra Prasad Regmi, manager secretariat of ECAN.
Referring to the various obstacles ECAN faces, Karki said, “It’s not easy to tie up with universities abroad, and we have to maintain strong business ethics. We must, therefore, regularly monitor our member consultancies.” In addition to its monitoring work, ECAN has also been working to strengthen its relationship between students and parents by giving training to counsellors as well as instructors of TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
source: The kathmandu Post,17 april 2013
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