Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, August 22. The Compulsory and Free Education Bill registered by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in the Parliament Secretariat today stipulates a provision requiring private schools to provide free education to at least 10 per cent of students in each grade up to the secondary level.
This provision shall be applicable to private schools after the commencement of the law. According to Section 26, a public notice about the 10 per cent reserved quota for the children shall be put up in schools for enrollment of eligible and capable children on the basis of competition.
“Non-compliance of the provision shall be deemed an offence. If any school commits the offence, parents or guardians of the concerned children may file a complaint at the Judicial Committee of the local level against the concerned principal within 15 days seeking legal action,” Section 31 states. If found guilty, the principal shall be punished with a fine equivalent to the amount in question, or Rs 25,000, or whichever is higher.
If the children are charged fees in contravention of the law, the concerned school would also be obliged to refund the amount. The bill also contains a provision which requires the concerned parents and guardians to enroll each child in certain grade as per their age.
According to Section 7, no parent or guardian shall discontinue the schooling of his/her child or prohibit him/her from going to school before completion of basic elementary level or secondary level once enrolled. “Any parent or guardian, who does not enroll a school-age child in school or discontinue the child's schooling without completion of basic elementary level after enrollment, may be deprived of facilities to be provided by the local level,” it states.
The bill also states that each child shall have the right to enrol in and complete basic elementary level from the nearest and most accessible school. “Notwithstanding anything contained in the prevailing laws, the parents or guardians may enrol their children in any school of their choice,” it says. As per Section 9, no principal of school shall deny enrolment to any child for basic elementary education unless the number of seats set aside for each grade are already fulfilled.