Govt not serious in resolving fee row: Students

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 5:

Student leaders today accused the government of not being serious in resolving the conflict caused due to the increase in fee structure of private and boarding schools and may soon resort to strikes. “Apart from our movement against ‘regression’ we will also go for educational strikes if the fee is not reduced,” said Gagan Thapa general- secretary of Nepal Students Union while addressing an interaction on “Increase in fee structure” organised by Education Journalists’ Group here today.

Thapa said the convener of the present taskforce himself is not confident of reaching a solution. “He is just dragging the problem on like many others in the past and passing his ‘indefinite’ term in office. He said the private schools cannot operate solely on commercial basis as they also have social obligations to fulfil. President of All Nepal National Free Students Union Rajendra Rai said a report submitted by a taskforce has recommended to bring down the present fee structure by upto 60 per cent. The students, who have been demanding fee reduction this academic year, sought immediate solution and threatened to go on strike if their demand was not met.

Umesh Shrestha president of Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (PABSON), however, said that they should be informed in advance whether to run schools or close down. “The government should stop registering new schools,” he said. Former assistant minister for Education and Sports Rabindra Khanal accused the higher-level ministry officials of having financial dealings with school administrators. “There is need for a commission to probe why the previous reports could not be implemented,” said Suprabhat Bhandary, president of Guardians Association. Laba Prasad Tripathi, spokesperson at MoES, said no problem can exist if everybody acts honestly. He said there was a proposal for the schools to make only 10 per cent profit out of school fees.