High-level committee formed to monitor schools

Schools will be directed to return fees charged against the rules

Kathmandu, May 6        

The Ministry of Education today decided to form a high-level committee under the coordination of the ministry’s joint-secretaries to monitor private schools in the Kathmandu valley.

The high-level monitoring committee will monitor special category schools from May 9.

A meeting of the Central Fee Fixation and Monitoring Committee held under the chairmanship of Director General of Department of Education Khagraj Baral and in the presence of joint-secretaries from MoE as well as representatives of student unions today decided to strengthen the existing monitoring mechanism.

A few months ago, the MoE had endorsed Institutional School Fee Fixation Directives-2016.

However, with the beginning of the new academic session, most of the schools have refused to follow the directives.

Private schools in the Valley were found charging exorbitant fees from students with no provision for scholarships.

The 10-point agreement reached between 13 student unions and MoE last year had decided to set the fee structure in a scientific way, regularly monitor irregularities and make scholarship distribution process transparent, among others.

However, the government failed to strictly implement the agreement and take action against private schools that have been flouting the directives.

Unsatisfied with the government’s monitoring of schools, student unions had started monitoring schools separately from May 4.

During the monitoring, private schools were found charging more than Rs 20,000 as monthly fee and more than Rs 50,000 as admission fee.

Dr Hari Lamsal, joint-secretary and spokesperson at MoE, said, “I have decided to lead the monitoring team and monitor the schools rigorously this time.”

Suprabhat Bhandari, President of Guardians Association Nepal and a member of CFFMC, said the meeting also decided to direct the schools to return fees charged against the rules, make public their scholarship distribution and monitor schools outside the Kathmandu valley under the leadership of under-secretaries.

“This time around, the monitoring committee will also inspect Montessori schools,” he said.