KATHMANDU, Feb 16: A meeting of the private schools´ associations with the Department of Education (DoE) on Wednesday decided that private schools would not hike the current fee of Rs 1,100, Rs 1,250 and Rs 1,700 for the primary, lower secondary and secondary level, respectively.
“We do not believe that the schools will hike the salary of teachers after the fee hike. So, we decided not to allow the private schools to hike fees,” said Tek Narayan Pandey, director at DoE. “Last year many schools hiked fees by up to 20 to 25 percent. Fee hike every year is not justifiable.”
According to Pandey, the schools have been directed to follow strict guidelines regarding advertisement and admission. “They will only be allowed to erect hoarding boards inside their compounds and would not be allowed spend more than Rs 500,000 for advertisement. They can run advertisements from March 14 and take admissions from March 29 as the new session starts from April 14,” he said.
Similarly, District Education Officer of Kathmandu Baikuntha Aryal said action would be taken against schools found defying the directives. “The schools will be fined if they defy the directive and hike fees,” he said, adding, “They will also have to follow guidelines regarding advertisement and admission dates.”
Aryal further informed that the meeting also decided to prepare a uniform calendar for all private schools fixing the dates of admission, exams and results. For this, a committee has been formed under the coordination of deputy controller of DOE Ram Sharan Sapkota.
According to Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians´ Association of Nepal, the DoE has asked the schools to respect the Supreme Court´s decision and defying the directive would prove counterproductive for the schools. “We want the schools to strictly follow the guidelines,” he said.
In August 2012, the apex court had ordered the schools not to hike the fees for the next three years. Despite the order, the private schools had last month announced that they would hike the fees in line with the current inflation.
Meanwhile, talking to Republica, Chairman of the Private and Boarding Schools Organization Nepal (PABSON) Baburam Pokhrel argued the schools can still raise the fees under certain conditions. “Yes, there are limitations. But there are a number of schools which have been charging less and they can hike the fees,” he said.
“For instance, in special cases, the schools can hike fees if they can justify the hike to district education officer. The bottom line is schools in general are not going to hike the fees,” he said.
Pandey commented that there has to be a valid ground for any school to hike fees.