Kathmandu, October 6:

Owners of private schools have expressed concern over the government proposal of making it mandatory for private schools to provide full scholarships to 10 per cent of total students studying in private schools.

Once the bill to amend the Nepal Act regarding some issues on Education and Sports, which is in the House for discussion, is enacted, the private schools will have to provide full scholarships to 10 per cent of total students, who are poor and in need.

The new bill to amend the Nepal Act regarding some issues on Education and Sports, which is in the House for discussion, has made mention of the provision. Around eight lakh students are studying in about 10,000 private schools.

Karna Bahadur Shahi, general secretary of the National Private and Boarding Schools Association Nepal, told this daily today: “The government proposal of providing 10 per cent scholarships out of total enrolment is not feasible.”

“The flat rate of providing scholarships to the needy would only hamper the private schools, which belong to the ‘C’ or ‘D’ category,” said Shahi. “There are schools which have been providing scholarships as per their capacity,” Shahi said, adding: “The government proposal binding all private schools to provide 10 per cent full scholarships to the poor students would affect the schools, which have been charging nominal fees.”

Stating that private schools have been providing scholarships, Bhoj Bahadur Shah, vice-president of the Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (PABSON), said the proposal of providing 10 per cent scholarships to the poor and the needy students would affect the schools. The owners of private schools said the government should have at least discussed the matter with them before submitting the bill in the House. Laba Prasad Tripathee, the spokesperson for the Education Ministry, said: “The private schools have agreed to provide scholarships to the poor students, but they have not kept their words.”

“A few schools have been providing scholarships, but the process is not transparent. The enactment of the bill will benefit the poor students,” said Tripathee. The bill also states that panels comprising school principals, representatives of school management committees and district education offices will select the students for scholarship.