4000 poorly run private schools face merger


Nirjana Sharma

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The Ministry of Education (MoE) is likely to adopt a policy of merging those private and boarding schools which lack adequate infrastructure to attract students. 

Of the total 10,000 private and boarding schools across the country, around 4000 or 40 percent would get merged after the Private and Boarding School Regulation gets finalized. 

The policy would mainly target schools registered after 2005, said Suprabhat Bhandari, chairman of the Guardians´ Association of Nepal.

The Private and Boarding School Association of Nepal (PABSON) Chairman Baburam Pokhrel said that the schools that have been graded as “D” by the Department of Education (DoE) would be merged with other schools that are better off as discussed at the MoE on Monday.

“Though the guardian association proposed to scrap licenses of such schools which are currently defunct, we have proposed three models to revive such schools,” Pokhrel said, adding, “Two to five schools can be merged together for their sustainability. Forty percent of the schools would get merged after the regulation comes into effect.”

He added that the discussion was also focused on giving a chance to the poor schools to find corporate partners so that they can upgrade themselves to at least “C”. Similarly, some from the private sector have asked the government to allocate certain incentives for the sustainability of such schools. 

To check the mushrooming of private schools, the District Education Offices across the country, including in the Valley, have already decided to reject registration of new schools. 

The MoE had called the representative of PABSON, N-PABSON, guardian association and the district education officers for the final discussion before endorsing the regulation. The new regulation authorizes the District Education Offices to deal with the merging process. 

The draft policy has already finalized that the private schools can´t spend more than Rs 500,000 on advertisements. Similarly, the private school buildings need to be approved by the government agencies responsible to ensure that the buildings follow all the codes. 

Private and boarding schools can be run in their own buildings, or on a rent with at least five-year lease agreement. Similarly, the schools must ensure separate rooms for school staff, administration, accounts, library, school hall, stores and laboratory. 

Meanwhile, the government has found as many as 260,000 fake students produced by community schools to receive more incentives from government. Such schools are in the records of the DoE, but they have not operated classes till date.

Source: Republica national daily