Change in schools' fee structure on cards


Kokila KC

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After a hiatus of three years, the government is planning to introduce new fee structure for private schools.

The new fee structure for private schools — devised on scientific and practical bases — is likely to come into from the next academic session which start from mid-April next year. 

A meeting of the Central Fee Fixation and Monitoring Committee held today under the chairmanship of Laba Dev Awasthi, Director General of the Department of Education, decided to conduct research on the present fee structure by relating it to the facilities and services provided by individual schools to students.

Awasthi said they were going to review various issues related to fee structure in institutional schools to properly manage and regulate them properly from the new academic session.

“An independent research group will carry out micro-analysis regarding the fee structure of private schools by relating it to other elements such as school category, physical infrastructure of schools, facilities and services provided to students among others to determine new fee structure,” said Awasthi.

Suprabhat Bhandari, president, Guardians Association of Nepal, who is also a member of CFFMC, said that as per the decision made by the committee, the government was going to hire independent consultants to review overall aspects of private schools, including fee structure.

“After studying the recommendation from consultants, the CFFMC will take a decision on new fee structure and direct all concerned for necessary changes,” said Bhandari.

In 2012, the Supreme Court had directed private schools not to increase tuition fees and sell textbooks from school premises. But defying the order, private schools were found to be involved in fleecing students/parents under various titles.

Earlier this year, a monitoring team, which included government officials, guardians and representatives from students’ union among others, had revealed that some schools in Kathmandu were school fee by more than 60 per cent than the ceiling fixed by the District Fee Fixation and Monitoring Committee. 

In 2012, CFFMC had determined maximum monthly fee of Rs 1,100 from Rs 950 for Primary Level (Grade I-V), Rs 1,250 from Rs 1,000 for Lower Secondary (Grade VI-VIII) and Rs 1,700 from Rs 1,350 for Secondary Level (Grade IX and X). 

As per the education regulations, though the fee structure was determined by the CFFMC for ‘C’ grade school, an ‘A’ grade school can hike fee by 50 per cent and ‘B’ grade schools by 25 per cent more than the ceiling. Likewise, ‘D’ grade schools had to deduct 25 per cent from the fee ceiling determined by CFFMC.

Lachhe Bahadur KC, president, Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal, said that they have not hiked the fee structure for the past three years while the government had already hiked the salary of teachers for two times. “So, we want the government to review all these factors and suggest new ways to determine fee structure accordingly,” he added.

KC, who is also a member of CFFMC, said that the committee will be taking decision very soon on the basis of the report provided by independent consultants because the institutional schools have to submit their new fee structure before three months of new academic session. 

According to KC, currently more than two million students were studying in around 10,000 institutional schools across the country. 

Source: The Himalayantimes