Education tax should not burden guardians: Minister

Kathmandu, September 23:

Education Minister Renu Kumari Yadav today made it clear that schools had to furnish five per cent education tax without imposing extra burden on the guardians.

“The education tax is meant for schools and not for the guardians,” Yadav said at an interaction organised here today.

Yadav’s stance challenged the statement of Gita Rana, president of National Private and Boarding Schools Association (NPABSON), who had said that schools would collect five per cent tax from the students on monthly basis. She had also said that medium-level schools would suffer most from the newly levied tax.

“We don’t know what to do if the guardians refused to pay extra fee imposed by the schools,” Rana had said.

Minister Yadav said it was the responsibility of the private sector to contribute for a social cause. “We have come up with the concept of education tax because the government is not in a position to work alone. Nearly 11 per cent children are still away from schools and some 7.8 million people are illiterate,” she said.

The government intends to recruit some 35,000 youths to educate the illiterate folks and bring the children deprived of education to the schools.

The government has sought help from the private sector to provide education to Dalit,

indigenous and Madhesi communities.

“The tax levied on the schools will directly go to the education fund,” Yadav said, adding that the 1.5 per cent tax imposed on schools in the past was never implemented. She also said the ministry was ready to discuss and decide in the favour of people.

President of Higher Secondary Schools’ Association of Nepal Umesh Shrestha said education sector cannot go ahead without private-public partnership. Talking about the five per cent education tax, Shrestha said the government should also look after the plight of smaller schools. “We are holding discussion with teachers’ unions, guardians’ associations and owners of the private schools tomorrow on the issue,” he said.

Educationist Bidhya Nath Koirala commented that the budget had given continuation to the previous programmes by adding a few new ones.