Private schools urge guardians to pay fee

Kathmandu, June 21

Private school operators across the country have asked guardians to clear student fee for the last academic year and also pay the fee for the last few months despite the fact that schools have remained closed since March 24, due to the nationwide lockdown.

Main organisations representing private schools in the country – Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation Nepal and National - Private and Boarding Schools’ Association Nepal – issuing a joint statement today made the request to guardians. They have urged the guardians to adopt ‘live and let live’ philosophy stating that they were having a hard time to sustain academic institutions due to the lockdown.

The joint statement came despite strict direction from the government not to collect fees from guardians during the lockdown period.

The umbrella organisations have insisted that since schools’ revenue collection was nil, they were facing difficulty in providing salaries for their staffers. They said there are above 200,000 teachers and staffers employed at around 7,000 private schools. A majority of the operators have been unable to pay the rent of the school buildings, and they have been served notices by the landlords to either vacate the property or pay the rents, according to the statement.

The statement also mentions that some operators, who had taken loans from banks to upgrade their schools have not been able to clear bank dues.

The organisations have argued that they were forced to collect fees as the government did not announce any relief package for them, which could mean that all private schools could be closed if they could not collect revenues from guardians.

Tikaram Puri, PABSON’s chair talking to THT over phone said schools have agreed not to charge monthly fee for one month during the lockdown and the guardians must understand the situation of the schools and pay the fees of other months.

“We have no other options than to request the guardians to pay the fees even during the period of lockdown,” said Puri. The organisations have also urged all three tiers of the government and other stakeholders to support private schools during this difficult period.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.