Ensure free education: SC

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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With the government failing to comply with the Supreme Court order to provide free education at the School level, the apex court today issued a similar order today to ensure the right to free education to students in school.

On February 21, the apex court had directed government authorities to ensure free education up to secondary level, but the decision is yet to be implemented due to ‘inadequate budget’.

A three-member bench of Justices Kalyan Shrestha, Sushila Karki and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki gave the decision today. It also cited a previous verdict issued by a division bench of Justices Bala Ram KC and Bharat Bahadur Karki with regard to ensuring free education up to the secondary level in all government and community schools as per the constitution and to promulgate a separate Act if required.

Even though, the bench did not declare conflicting provisions of Acts ultra virus as demanded by writ petitioners. The apex court verdict came in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Dhruba Chaulagain who had demanded court intervention for providing free education up to school level. The apex court, however, declined to declare Section 16(D) of the Education Act, and Rule 146 of the Education Rules ultra virus as demanded by the petitioner.

According to him, the legal provision has allowed schools to collect fees from students, going against Article 17 (2) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, which ensures free education to students. He also accused authorities — the Prime Minister’s Office and Council of Ministers and Ministry of Education and Department of Education.

The petitioner had sought apex court order to government to follow the constitutional provision, and claimed that parents of the students were under tremendous pressure as they had to pay charges under several headings.

Rojnath Pandey, assistant spokesperson at the Ministry of Education said the ministry has taken the verdict positively.
 
(Source: The Himalayantimes)