Govt to monitor schools’ fee structure

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 21:

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) is planning to open all private schools that have shut down due to Maoist threat and has said it will provide compensation to the schools attacked by the Maoists. The MoES has also said it will check the irrational fee structure of private schools. As a protest against the high fee structure, the student wing of the Maoists had called for a shutdown of all private schools from April 14. MoES spokesperson Laba Prasad Tripathee said, “The ministry is against the shutdown of private schools. However, those will be monitored regularly from now on.” He said private schools will now have to submit a copy of their fee structure at the District Education Office (DEO) in order to get the permission to run a school. He added that 95 per cent of the Valley’s private schools had already submitted their fee structure for this academic year.

A week ago the MoES set up monitoring committees under the district education officers of the districts with representatives from the guardians’ associations, private school organisations and teachers’ unions. “Action will be taken against schools based on the reports submitted by the committees,” said Tripathee. “The committees have already started evaluating and monitoring private schools’ fee structures.” Regarding the compensation for the schools attacked, Tripathee said, “The MoES is gathering details of the damage sustained by the schools from the DEOs and from media reports.” Tripathee said the role played by the private schools in the country’s education field cannot be undermined. “The negative aspects of the private schools will be checked, but these schools cannot be closed as 15 lakh students will be affected.” He said the government had offered to provide security but the schools declined the offer as it was not practical and could prove to be even more dangerous. A total of 15 lakh students are studying in 8,500 private schools up to the secondary level, with 175,000 persons being employed by the schools. Schools in some districts had remained closed after the Maoist threat. But following government reassurance and strict directives to “take necessary action against schools remaining shut..

Plan to open closed schools

KATHMANDU: Minister for Information and Communication Tanka Dhakal said on Thursday the government would make all administrative efforts to open the private and boarding schools outside the capital shut down due to Maoist threats. Addressing a regular weekly meet-the-press programme at the Media Village, Dhakal said the government has ordered the regional and zonal administrators to take necessary measures to open the schools that have remained closed since April 14. He appealed to the guardians, school management committees and communities to cooperate with the government in its effort at making educational institutions ‘zone of peace’. “People should also be ready to retaliate the Maoists,” he said. Private and boarding schools have not even been able to distribute report cards due to the Maoist threats of reprisal. — HNS