The Supreme Court on Sunday directed the government and private schools to implement an order issued to them on May 23, 2012 not to hike school fees for three years and not to charge any extra fees without the approval of the authorities concerned.
Responding to public interest litigation (PIL) filed separately by advocates Shree Krishna Subedi, Gopal Nath Yogi and others, a division bench of Justice Kalyan Shrestha and Om Prakash Mishra reminded those concerned of the court order.
As the Private and Boarding Schools Organization Nepal (PABSON) came up with a proposal for a fee hike at the beginning of the current academic session, Subedi and Yogi moved the SC claiming that the private schools were arbitrarily charging tuition fees despite the court order of 2012.
They also claimed that the authorities and institutions concerned were not monitoring the implementation of the Institutional Schools Criteria and Operations Directives-2012.
Furnishing written statements to the court, the organization of private schools as well as the government agencies concerned have claimed that they have been fully complying with the court order issued in 2012.
Based on the statements, the division bench of Justices Shrestha and Mishra quashed PIL related to the issue but stressed implementation the previous directives.
The order of May 23, 2012 directing schools not to hike fees for three years and not to charge any extra fees without approval from the authorities was issued by a division bench of Justices Tahir Ali Ansari and Baidhyanath Upadhyay
The division bench had also directed government agencies to strictly monitor the schools to ensure the people´s right to education. “Lack of government control has raised serious questions over the public´s right to education, employment, social security and the right against exploitation,” the division bench had stated. It had asked the government to determine a ceiling for school fees.
At the same time, the SC had also asked schools to use only textbooks approved by the government. The apex court ordered schools not to charge more than Rs 25 for admission forms and more than Rs 100 as entrance fee.
Following the 11-point directive by the SC, the Ministry of Education had formulated the Institutional Schools Criteria and Operations Directives in 2012, encompassing all these points.