KATHMANDU: Government monitoring teams have found that private schools in the Kathmandu Valley are charging exorbitant fees despite government’s strict directive not to hike tuition fee this year.
Immediately after the academic session began in April this year, the government, following pressure from student unions, had directed private schools to adopt scientific way to fix fee and not to hike tuition fee this year.
But following the April 25 quake, schools had remained closed. Schools reopened on May 31. But yet another issue had cropped up by then — whether the schools should charge the tuition fee for the month when the academic activities were completely halted due to the quake. The Department of Education yesterday started monitoring private schools to ascertain whether private schools were abiding by the government directive.
Subas Bhandari, central member of Guardians Association Nepal and a member of monitoring team, said during the monitoring today The Excelsior School in Swoyambhu was found to be charging Rs 10,000-Rs 12,000 annually under the heading ‘miscellaneous’.
“The government had earlier directed schools not to charge fee under any unnecessary and unclear headings,” he said. “Though the tuition fee charged by the school was in line with the government directive, it was charging Rs 950-Rs 1,600 for ‘extra activities’ and Rs 650 as ‘computer fee’, which is against the government order,” he added.
Another DEO team, which monitored Bright Future Higher Secondary School in Satdobato today, found that the school had hiked tuition fee by 15 to 20 per cent.
GAN central member Ram Krishna Prajapati, who is also a member of the monitoring team, said, “The fee structure submitted to the Lalitpur District Education Office and the fee charged by the school were found to be different.”
According to him, the school was found charging Rs 2,000-Rs 5,000 under ‘building maintenance’ but the school building was not damaged by the earthquake.
Government monitoring teams yesterday visited NK Singh Memorial English Preparatory School in Minbhawan and Meridian International School in Baluwatar.
The monitoring teams had found that Meridian International School was charging Rs 15,000 from each student under ‘School Development Fee’.
Similarly, EPS was found not waiving 50 per cent of school fee for the month of Baisakh when no activities were carried out.
Government monitoring teams are set to monitor 16 more private schools in the Kathmandu Valley based on the complaints from guardians and students.