The Department of Education has recently directed all 75 district education offices and five regional education directorates to make sure that higher secondary schools do not charge any fee to scholarship recipients.
As per government rules and regulations, students awarded scholarship need not pay fee under any heading to study in grades XI and XII. However,many schools have been found waiving only tuition fee and charging other fees to students.
DoE said it received complaints from scholarship awardees and their parents that their schools were charging fees under headings such as annual fee, computer fee, lab fee, among others.
Baikuntha Aryal, spokesperson, DoE, admitted that the office had received complaints that schools were charging fees to scholarship awardees. “Hence, we have directed district education offices to look into the matter and take action,” he added.
During a previous monitoring carried out by the Higher Secondary Board, which has now been transformed into National Examination Board, many higher secondary schools and plus two colleges were found charging up to Rs 20,000 to scholarship awardees.
After the eighth amendment to the Education Act, DEOs have been entrusted with monitoring schools at the district level. “DEOs will monitor the schools now and we believe this would be more effective,” he said, adding that some schools might have charged fees to scholarship awardees unknowingly.
“However, we will not spare anyone found guilty. We will also make the schools return fees charged to scholarship awardees,” he said.
“However, the schools are allowed to charge fee for accommodation, food, transport and for any other personal facility provided to students.”
Source: This article was originally published in The Himalayantimes paper on 11th August, 2016.