PABSON decision to hike school fees draws criticism

Kathmandu, August 12:

The recent decision of the Private And Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal (PABSON) to increase fees in schools maximum by 25 per cent has drawn flak from the stakeholders.

Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians’ Association Nepal, said that the PABSON is not an authentic body to increase students’ fees. The increment in fees should be in line with the education regulations that states the School Management Committee has the authority to increase fees, which should be later approved by Fee-Ceiling Fixing Committee at District Education Office, he added.

Bhandari said: “Though private schools take exorbitant fees from students, more than 90 per cent of the teachers are unpaid and exploited”. Pradeep Poudel, president of the Nepal Students’ Union, said that the PABSON’s “one-sided” decision only favours a handful of people. “Instead of decreasing fees, its decision to hike is totally unjustifiable and we are against the decision,” he said, adding: “The decision has proved the exploitation and other irregularities in private schools.” Poudel asked the PABSON to withdraw its decision. “If not, we will be compelled to hit the streets.”

Umesh Shrestha, president of the PABSON, said they decided to increase the students’ fees so as to provide more salary to teachers as their pay has not been increased for five years. “We have directed the schools outside the Valley to raise the fees according to the situation of schools and School Management Committees,” he said.