Scholarship awardees under stress

After threats from some colleges that they will restrict students studying under scholarships from using college facilities if they had to be taught free of cost, scholarship awardees are facing a taught time. 

Currently, scholarship awardees have been paying more than Rs 20,000 under the heading of ‘science practical classes’. The Higher Secondary Education Board had earlier brought a provision as per which colleges can charge only Rs 12,000 for the students of science stream and Rs 10,000 for the students of management faculty. But recently a high-level monitoring team deployed by the HSEB had scrapped the provision of letting the colleges charge fee from scholarship awardees.

A student studying in Lainchaur based-National School of Sciences said on condition of anonymity that said she was ‘indirectly threatened by the school principal to deprive her of lab facilities’ when she asked the college to return the fee she had paid. 

She paid more than Rs 20,000 in both Grades XI and XII. 

“When I asked the school principal regarding the fee I had paid, he said he would be allow me to use lab facilities if he had to return the fee,” she said, adding that there are different fee structures for different scholarship holders in the same faculty. “Fee for scholarship awardees should be same for all students,” she added.

Another student from the college said he paid Rs 24,300 in Grade XI and Rs 22,900 in Grade XII despite the fact that science students with scholarships d not need to pay more than Rs 12,000. He revealed that the college administration had told the students to say that they were paying only Rs 20,000. “In a private college, the decision of college administration is final, so I don’t want to risk my future by arguing with college authorities for few thousands,” he added.

Madhav Baral, the founding principal of the college, said that private colleges cannot teach students without charging certain fee from scholarship awardees. “If the government asks us to make Plus Two education completely free for scholarship students, then we will have to cut down few practical classes for them,” he said. 

He added that scholarship depends on the percentage scored by students in the SLC exam. He assured to return the money back to the students of Grade XII and newly enrolled students in Grade XI if the authority directs to do so. Another student from New Baneshwor based-Liverpool International College, who paid Rs 35,000 in Grade XI, said that they were threatened by the college administration for revealing the fact to the monitoring team of the HSEB.

An official from the HSEB today said on condition of anonymity that ‘we are planning to take action against the colleges which are flouting the rules but we had pressure from other big colleges to not proceed with the action’. However, Narayan Koirala, Spokesperson for the HSEB, claimed that they have been pressurising the colleges to return the money to students. “The colleges who have been charging exorbitant fee against the ceiling fixed by the HSEB have no other option than returning money to students,” he said. 

Currently, private higher secondary schools/+2 colleges have been providing five per cent scholarship to students. Three per cent scholarship is given to the students from community schools recommended by the HSEB and two per cent scholarship is given to students from private schools by the college itself.

Source: THT