Unions padlock 175 private schools against fee hike

Published On: April 27, 2017 06:52 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

SLCE exams not affected
KATHMANDU, April 27: Protesting against the unilateral and unlawful fee hike by private schools, the student unions affiliated to various political parties padlocked the accounts and administrative offices of 175 private schools across the country on Thursday.

"We padlocked 175 schools including 75 in the Kathmandu Valley," said Pushpa Kumar Shahi, vice president of the Nepal Students Union. "The padlocked schools include Ullens, Rato Bangala, Chandbagh, DAV, Nightingale, VS Niketan, Rupy's International, Little Angels, KMC, KIST, GEMS and Samskriti," he said. "It's a symbolic protest. We will padlock more schools soon."

However, despite the padlocking by the unions, the SLCE exams scheduled for Thursday went ahead undisturbed. Some of the padlocked schools are SLCE exam centers, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE).
"Along with padlocking, the agitating union members had also seized examination materials at some centers but later the unions agreed to allow the examinations to go ahead," said Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, MOE spokesperson.

A total of 353,012 students of Grade 12 are sitting for the exams. The SLCE has ended the 83 years old history of the SLC, which started from 1934.

The student unions protesting against the fee hike include Nepal Students' Union, All Nepal National Free Students' Union, All Nepal National Independent Students' Union-Revolutionary, Tarai-Madhes Students Front, ANNFSU-Sixth, Rastriya Prajatantra Students Union, ANNFSU-Fifth and Naya Shakti Students' Union.

On Tuesday, the unions had staged sit-ins in front of the district education offices across the country. 

Various private schools have arbitrarily increased the fees for the new academic session which started April 14. The schools did so without taking permission from the authorities concerned. 

There are more than 5,000 private schools across the country, including over 1,500 in the Kathmandu Valley, according to the organizations of the private schools. Some 1.5 million students are enrolled in these private schools.

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