DHANGADHI, May 6: Student unions affiliated to the major political parties have jointly expressed their objection to the fee hike by private schools in Dhangadhi of Kailali district. Stating that the Fee Determination and Monitoring Committee hiked private schools’ fees too much, the agitating students padlocked the District Education Office (DEO) on Friday.
The office of the district education officer has been padlocked “until the decision to hike the fees of private schools is taken back”, according to the agitating students. They have warned of more protests if the authorities concerned fail to withdraw the fee-hike decision.
“Although we had reached an agreement with the authorities concerned, they hiked the fees excessively against the agreement. As a result, we are forced to protest,” said Chuda Mani Bhatta, an irate student leader affiliated to All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU). The unilateral fee-hike has made life miserable for parents and compelled them to protest, the student leaders claimed.
The decision to hike the school fees was made after the committee held discussions with Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization Nepal (PABSON) and National Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization Nepal (NPABSON), two umbrella organizations of private schools in the country. Earlier, the student unions and Dhangadhi DEO had reached AN agreement to fix the fees for primary schools at Rs 1,000, lower high schools at 1,300; and high schools at 1,600. However, the school operators had taken to the streets following the agreement by shutting down the schools. Following their protests, a meeting was held between DEO and school operators, which took the decision to set different fees for schools in sub-metropolitan cities and rural municipalities.