KATHMANDU: Relenting to pressure from thirteen student unions aligned to various political parties, the Ministry of Education on Sunday asked institutional schools to waive 50 per cent tuition fee of Baishak (first month of Nepali calendar) in districts worst hit by the April 25 earthquake.
All the academic institutions, particularly schools, had remained closed from April 26 to May 28 after the earthquake. Plus-two colleges and campuses affiliated to various universities had resumed classes from May 24.
Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesperson, MoE said a meeting was held with the representatives from Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (PABSON) and National Private and Boarding Schools Association Nepal (NPABSAN) yesterday when private school operators decided to waive 50 per cent of the overall tuition fee for the month of Baishak, MoE has asked them to implement the agreement.
Issuing a statement here today, MoE said that as the schools were closed from April 26 to May 29, it urged all other academic institutions to waive the tuition fee accordingly as relief to parents affected by the quakes.
The MoE has reiterated its commitment to provide education and accommodation facilities to children orphaned by the quake by giving them shelter in SOS Children’s Village and has urged concerned agencies to contact the District Education Office and Department of Education with recommendations from District Child Welfare Committee in relation to providing education with accommodation service for children who have lost one of their parents (either mother or father) in the quake.
The MoE also expressed commitment to implement the 10-point agreement reached between student unions and ministry officials on April 19.
Earlier this morning, 13-student unions had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala demanding withdrawal of fee hike in schools and waiver of tuition fee for a month (April 25 to May 29) when schools were closed in the aftermath of the earthquake. UP Lamichhane, spokesperson, Nepal Students’ Union, said that PM Koirala assured them he would issue directives to the ministry to fulfill the demands of students.
According to Lamichhane, PM Koirala urged the student unions to withdraw their protest programme as it was not the right time to conduct such activities.
“PM Koirala stressed the need of unity among all sides to overcome the adversities brought about by the natural disaster,” he said.
Lamichhane also stated that though they had withdrawn all street protests after the notice issued by the ministry, they were not going to withdraw other protest programmes until the agreement reached on April 19 was implemented.
The 10-point agreement on April 19 talks about revising the fee hike in various districts and determining fee ceiling in a scientific way, among others.