KATHMANDU -With the Durbar High School building in Nepal rebuilt by the Chinese government, at a cost of $7.24 million, student enrollment has increased like never before. The multi-facility building, shared by two schools, Bhanu School and Sanskrit High School, had around 430 students combined last year. However, there has been a huge surge in their numbers after the Chinese government handed over the property to the school management committee. Both schools now have 626 students combined, up by more than 40 percent. Bhanu School has 314 students, more than double than the number prior to the reconstruction, and Sanskrit High School now has 312 students. "The attractive building with well-equipped science and computer labs and auditorium is the primary factor for encouraging enrollment of the students," Akhilesh Azad, principal of Bhanu School, told Xinhua News Agency recently. "A majority of the new students have come from private schools and we are receiving enquiries for new admissions on a daily basis." Though the building was ready to come into operation last year, lessons with the physical presence of students started only in late January. Constructed in 1891, the building was in a dilapidated condition after it was destroyed by the devastating earthquake in 2015. The school had to be relocated to Balmiki College premises in Bhrikutimandap, some 500 meters east of its original location. The foundation stone for the building was laid in August 2018 and it was handed over to the school management by the Chinese government in September. Students say they are excited to be studying at the new building which is probably among the best-equipped public schools in the country and better than most private schools. "I cannot express how excited I am to study in such a sophisticated building," says Balram Dulal, a student at Bhanu School. "After years in a dilapidated and makeshift structure we are finally in classrooms that are unbeatable." The new infrastructure has attracted dozens of students from private schools as well, which is a rare trend in Nepal. Aayush Devkota, a sixth-grader, is among those students who have left private schools. He left a private school in Nayabazar Kathmandu, to join Sanskrit school. "The day I saw this building, I decided this is going to be my new school," he says. "Not just because of its exterior appearance, the building has everything a proper school needs to have. It is better than the private school I had been studying at all these years." Separate desks and benches for each student, well-ventilated classrooms and labs for practical education are all attractions for the students. Teachers from both of the schools housed in the building are elated at their increased attraction to students. "The new building has come as an opportunity to revive the lost glory of Durbar High School," says Shiva Raj Adhikari, principal at Sanskrit High School. "We have a sound infrastructure. Now the challenge is to deliver quality education." The modern, 42-room building has the capacity to accommodate around 1,000 students.