Registration of 32 'paper' schools cancelled


Republica National Daily

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Citing the misuse of government funds, District Education Office (DEO) Rautahat recently initiated action against community schools that have not come into operation for a long time after getting their registration.

As part of the action, the DEO has cancelled the registration of 32 community schools that exist only on paper.

According to Upendra Singh, Section Officer at DEO Rautahat, the schools registered with the DEO in and after 2064 BS have already received government funds for teacher salaries, scholarships, textbooks and repair and maintenance of physical infrastructure, but they have been found not to be in operation.

The registration of such schools that existed only on paper and misused the funds received from the DEO has been cancelled as per a recent decision taken by the district education committee (DEC).

Out of a total of 214 community schools registered in Rautahat since 2064 BS, the registration of 32 schools was cancelled following monitoring and physical verification undertaken by the DEC at the end of the last academic year.

Such schools, which are located in rural as well as urban areas in the district, will be shut down once their registration is cancelled, Section Officer Singh informed.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has also been probing schools that have been registered but are not in operation and yet continue to receive government funding.

Rautahat District Education Officer Arbind Lal Karn said that investigations into other schools are underway, and funds for those schools have been withheld.

Action has been taken against schools in the district that are not in operation but continue to received government funds under different heads and that produce fake student attendance records, said Hemraj Phuyal, the acting local development officer (LDO) who is also DEO coordinator.

Phuyal was recently appointed as acting LDO as the CIAA arrested LDO Basant Kumar Adhikari after the latter was caught red-handed while taking bribes.

Meanwhile, DEO Rautahat also decided to merge 19 community schools which have few students and are facing problems within their management committees, into nearby schools in areas such as district headquarters Gaur, newly declared municipality Chandrapur and Garuda.

The DEO´s recent action against the ´paper´ schools and the merger of community schools in the district is a step toward improving schooling in the district, said Manishankar Lal Nidhi, president of Nepal National Teachers´ Association (NNTA), Rautahat.