KATHMANDU, July 7: The private schools have been charging admission fees for grade 11 against the rules. The schools are reportedly charging Rs 20,000 to 35,000 as admission fees in Grade 11. The Education Act 2017 has categorized Grade 0 to 12 as school education. Once the student is enrolled in a class of a school, the student doesn't have to pay admission fees till Grade 12 in the same school.
However, the private schools have been charging admission fees in Grade 11 even though the students studied Grade 10 in the same school," said Suprabhat Bhandari, former president of the Guardians Association Nepal. "It is against the Education Act. We are reported that up to Rs 35,000 is being charged as the admission fees in Grade 11," he added. "Government schools, too, have charged admission fees but it is not as high as in private schools."
Of the total 463,689 students who appeared in the Secondary Education Examinations (SEE) held in April this year, the number of students scoring a GPA of 0.85 to 1.20 is 58,688, which is almost 10 per cent more than the number of students securing the same GPA in last year's SEE. Among total students, about 88,000 Grade 10 students are ineligible to get admission in Grade 11.
"Nearly 400,000 students are getting enrollment in Grade 11," said Bhandari. "The schools are making money by exploiting the guardians in the name of admission fees," he blamed.
Private schools admitted that they have charged the admission fees in Grade 11 from the students.
Ramesh Silwal, president of Higher Secondary Schools' Association Nepal (HISSAN), said that they charge Rs 22,000 as admission fees in Grade 11. "The schools can charge admission fees from the students of other schools but it is not ethical to charge admission fees from own regular students," he said. However, we run only Grade 11 and 12 in our school," he added.
The Education Act 2017 has also restricted to operate the 0+2 schools in the country. Dozens of schools are still operating 0+2 schools, according to the GAN.
However, the government has become a mute spectator to the violations of rules in schools and exploitation of guardians and students.
Khaga Raj Baral, secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), said that there is clear provision that admission fees can't be charged from a student enrolled in the same school again. "The schedule of the Constitution of Nepal 2015 has clearly mentioned that the local governments are responsible for monitoring and regulating fees in schools," said Baral.
"We cannot intervene with the rights of the local bodies," he further said. "We can take directive role to implement the rules if we are reported about the irregularities. However, no one has reported yet to us about this problem," he said.