KATHMANDU, July 31: The Department of Education (DoE) has directed all the districts to close the illegal schools.
Several schools in the Kathmandu Valley and across the nation have been found either existing only on paper are being run illegally. “We have already issued notices to the District Education Offices for cracking down on illegal schools,” said the DoE officials. “We have directed the districts to close down such schools,” they added.
Several schools inside and outside the Kathmandu Valley have been found either non-existent or running classes illegally, according to the DoE. There are some 1,500 private schools in the Kathmandu Valley and some 6,000 across the nation.
DK Dhungana, general secretary of the Private and Boarding Schools' Organization Nepal, admitted that some 200-400 schools are either being run illegally or exist only on paper. “We are collecting details of such schools. We have warned individuals against operating schools illegally and said that such schools should be shut down,” he claimed.
“We have found at least 29 schools in Kathmandu district alone have not been running continually for at least three years,” said Shankar Gautam, district education officer of Kathmandu. “We have issued notice to the schools to submit their status within a month,” he added. “The licenses of those schools that are not in operation will be scrapped.”
A monitoring committee assigned by the Ministry of Education (MoE) found about three months ago that 20 schools in the country including two in the Kathmandu Valley had been running without approval from the District Education Offices. Some were found operating without registration while several had been teaching higher-level classes although they had permission to teach lower grades only. “Some registered schools were nowhere to be found,” said Gautam.
“A team comprised of the chief district officer, local development officer and district education officer among others is currently studying the overall status of schools,” said Gautam. “The report will be finalized in about a month.”
The previous monitoring committee recommended the Department of Education (DoE) to take action against these schools then. When the DoE was about to take action against two schools in the Kathmandu Valley, they were forced to remain back due to power-play of the schools, according to the sources.
For instance, Premier International School of Khumaltar, Lalitpur has been teaching up to Class 9 although it has permission for up to the eight grade only. When the District Education Office ordered the school against teaching the ninth grade, the school moved the appellate court, which has ordered the school to register the students with the District Education Office.
Similarly, Rajarshi Gurukul School of Sallaghari, Bhaktapur has been teaching up to Class 8 althoug it has permission for up to the seventh grade only.