The Ministry of Education has asked all the private schools in the 14 districts worst affected by the earthquake to waive half of the total fees for the Nepali month of Baisakh when all the academic activities were shut due to the tremors.
The Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (Pabson) and N-Pabsan have agreed to follow the directives. “We are ready to abide by the order,” said Pabson Chairman Lachhe Bahadur KC.
The directive follows protests by 13 student unions demanding total fee waiver for over a month (from April 25 to May 29) when the teaching and learning process came to a standstill.
The unions affiliated to political parties had been arguing that it would be injustice to charge fees for the period when students did not attend school.
Both private and public schools in the worst-hit districts resumed their classes on May 31.
The ministry issued the directives following orders from Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to resolve the issue immediately. The student unions on Sunday submitted a memorandum to the PM seeking his intervention against the “monopoly” of private schools.
Private schools had been saying that they could only waive hostel and transportation fees, but not tuition fees. They had argued that they would not be able to pay the teachers and run administration without charging guardians.
Besides, KC said, the schools have also agreed to provide free education for 300 children who lost their parents in the disaster.
The schools said they would readjust the academic calendar by reducing festive, summer and winter vacations. They have announced not to charge additional fees for the readjusted school days.
The ministry, in collaboration with SOS Village, Sanothimi, has decided to provide free education with hostel to an additional 200 children who lost their parents in the earthquakes.