Government in bid to resolve extra fee issue

Kathmandu, October 13

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has started discussions to resolve the issue of extra fees taken from students by medical colleges.

“Informal meetings have been conducted to discuss extra fees charged by medical colleges. As the Medical Education Commission has already been formed it is working on data collection on the amount and the number of students from whom extra money has been taken,” said Mahesh Dahal, secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. “Two rounds of preparatory meetings have been completed. We will be sitting for a formal meeting within this week where we will discuss in detail about the issues,” said Dahal.

Students of Chitwan Medical College had staged protest after they were told that those who hadn’t paid extra dues would not be allowed to sit for examinations. They had ended their protest with the signing of an agreement with the management of the college at the District Administration Office on September 21. Medical students and activists expressing solidarity with the agitating students had staged a peaceful protest in Kathmandu demanding stern action against medical colleges charging exorbitant fees from students.

Earlier the government had given a month’s ultimatum for the medical colleges to return extra fees taken from students. At a meeting held in the presence of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, on September 23, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel and the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to take action against medical colleges if they failed to return extra charges taken from students within a month. The meeting had also decided to file a fraud case against medical colleges under the Medical Education Act.

The sub-committee formed to investigate allegations against medical colleges for charging extra fee from students had earlier submitted its report to a panel chaired by Lawmaker Jay Puri Gharti. The Parliamentary Education and Health Committee had formed the sub-committee to investigate all 21 medical colleges, across the country. The government had put a cap on the amount colleges could take from students. A Cabinet meeting, last year, had decided the fee for MBBS course at Rs 3.85 million in Kathmandu valley and Rs 4.24 million outside the valley. However, medical colleges have been found charging extra money under different headings.