Leaders of various student unions enter the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office at Sundhara on Friday blowing whistles to protest against the fee hike by private schools. Photo : Dipesh Shrestha
KATHMANDU, May 5: Student unions protesting against the 'illegal' hike in tuition fees by private schools staged demonstration by blowing whistles in front of the offices of local body chiefs and deputy chiefs on Friday. The unions demand, among other things, revocation of the hiked fees.
The private schools increased their tuition fees by up to 30 percent and charged up to Rs 200,000 as admission fees for the current academic session that began April 14. Additionally, the private schools have also charged readmission fees in the name of annual fees from students against the Fee Restructuring Directive 2072 BS.
There are about 6,000 private (institutional) schools across the country.
"As they have not listened to our not listen to us, we blew whistles in front of their offices in order to wake them up," said Pushpa Kumar Shahi, vice-president of the Nepal Students Union (NSU).
Representatives of CPN-UML's All Nepal National Free Student Union (ANNFSU), Nepali Congress' Nepal Students' Union (NSU), Maoist Center's All Nepal National Independent Student Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), ANNFSU (Sixth) and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party's Nepal Democratic Students Union staged demonstrations in front of all the offices of 753 local bodies throughout the nation on Friday.
The student unions on May 2 padlocked the offices of the Private and Boarding Schools Organization Nepal (PABSON) and National Private and Boarding Schools' Association Nepal (NPABSAN) across the country on May 2. Likewise, they padlocked the Department of Education at Sano Thimi in Bhaktapur on May 3.
The student unions said they are all set to announce their third phase of protests on Saturday to pressure the authorities into revoking the hiked fees. "We will publish the schedule for our third and final phase of protest on Saturday," said Shahi.
However, neither the government nor the private schools have done anything to address the demands of the unions so far. "The government appears reluctant to regulate the functioning of private schools, which have been operating in arbitrary fashion. And the schools also are not in a mood to withdraw the hiked fees. But we are not backing down this time," said Shahi.