Parents Voices Against High Admission Fees Charged by Schools

  April 15, 2024 By: INSEC

Parents have complained that different schools in Surkhet are charging high fees in the name of admission. Hari Adhikari, a resident of Birendra Nagar Municipality-10 complained that the private schools have charged high fees for the admission of children. He said that he has to pay Rs 18000 just for the admission of his son studying in grade three. This behavior of private schools has made it difficult for them to pay for the education of their children.

Despite the recent order from the Birendranagar Municipality instructing schools not to charge re-admission fees during the student enrollment campaign, schools continue to impose additional fees under the name of parent support fees. The student enrollment campaign for the academic session 2081 is underway nationwide from Baishak 2.

Kamal Gautam from Birendranagar Municipality-3 shared that he had difficulties enrolling his son in grade four at SOS due to the high admission fees. He mentioned that he is required to pay Rs 20,000 as admission fee and the additional expenses of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 every month for various purposes. He expressed that this is an unfair pressure on parents in the name of education.

As per the Ninth Amendment 2020 of the Education Regulations 2002, once a student is admitted to a class, no re-admission fee should be charged for further classes. The municipality has issued a warning, stating that those who do not comply with this regulation will face consequences. Regarding this, Dhirendra Prasad Sharma, Chief of Education Branch in Birendranagar said that they have instructed schools not to charge re-admission fees for students continuing their studies in the same school. He added that if any school violates these instructions they will face action. Sharma said that the municipality has emphasized that only classes approved by the municipality will be compulsory. Additionally, students will not be compelled to purchase school uniforms, books, or other materials. Moreover, classrooms would be maintained and managed in a child-friendly, learning-oriented, and technology-friendly manner. Furthermore, the municipality is moving forward by making guidelines for admission and fee classification of institutional schools. He said that if illegal money is taken in the name of admission, action will be taken according to the rules and the money will be refunded.

The municipality has instructed the compulsory implementation of the revised national curriculum from Child Development to Class 12 and the use of the local curriculum, “Hami ra hamro Birendranagar,” for classes 1 to 8, developed by the municipality. There are 94 institutional and 23 Montessori schools within Birendranagar Municipality. Out of which, Nepal Army School and Nepal Police School are run by the government, SOS Hermann Gmeiner School is run by foreign aid and Usha Balbatika School is run by Guthi.

Parents complain that these schools are conducting business under the name of admission. They charge admission fees ranging from Rs 7,000 to 28,000 depending on the class from the students who passed in the same school and went to the next class. Similarly, Eager Bridge Secondary School, which is considered to be excellent among the institutional schools in Karnali, charges admission fees from Rs 8,000 to 28,000. Institutional schools have up to 90 students in one class.

Nainasingh Khatri, Central Vice Chairperson of Pabson, emphasized that when students move to a new class within the same school, they shouldn’t pay admission fees again, though there may be technical issues with this. Khatri further explained that their fee structure includes monthly expenses, library access, music classes, uniforms, and excursions, as per regulations. He stressed that institutional schools must collect fees to ensure educational standards.

Similarly, Govinda Koirala, Chairperson of Community School Management Committee Karnali Province, said that community schools do not charge admission fees but take a certain amount as parental support. He added that, ‘The constitution of Nepal guarantees free education. However, the three levels of government are not effectively implementing this provision. This lack of implementation poses challenges in delivering quality education in community schools’. As a result, they are compelled to collect Rs 1000 or 2000 per student depending on their grades. He further stated that they are working to address this issue.

Jagatdal Janala BK