At a time when the higher secondary schools in the valley have been criticized for exorbitant fees and English-origin names, some of them have been found to be making students, admitted under scholarship schemes, to pay too.
This anomaly was discovered on Thursday by the monitoring team formed recently to carry out a study on the fees, names, advertisements and scholarship issues related to the higher secondary schools.
Students studying under scholarship schemes at the National School of Sciences (NSS), Lainchaur were found to have been compelled to pay Rs. 22,000 annually.
Principal of the School, Dr Madhav Baral accepted that his school was charging fees for laboratory, computer, newspaper, additional classes, handout, examinations and extra-curricular activities from such students.
It would be difficult to give them education for free, he said.
However, as per the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) regulations, higher secondary schools need to give scholarship to students recommended by the Board and coming from government schools. They are also required to allocate two per cent of the total number of seats available to poor and diligent students.
The HSEB monitoring team also found similar irregularities in the Times International College, Dillibazaar and the Everest Florida College at Min Bhawan, among others.
Further investigation into the complaints received about the charging of fees to students under scholarship is underway, said Chief of the HSEB Monitoring Division, Damber Kumar Batas. However, the Government body concerned is not clear whether the scholarship should be completely free or not, he added.
Member of the monitoring team and President of Guardians Association of Nepal, Suprbhat Bhandari accused the colleges and higher secondary schools of exploiting the poor and diligent students by charging them fees even though they were admitted under the scholarship scheme.
However, President of Private and Boarding School Association of Nepal (PABSON), Dr Baburam Pokharel said, "the State should support us if we are to give such students education totally free of cost".
The monitoring team convened by HSEB Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Koirala is presented monitoring more than two dozen higher secondary schools and colleges in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur.
There are around 3,200 higher secondary schools under operation in the country.