A meeting between the representatives of private school operators and student unions held to settle the tuition fee row on Monday ended inconclusively after both the parties remained adamant on their stands.
The meeting was called at the Ministry of Education after the student unions protested the decision of the private schools to charge the tuition fee for the period when the schools were closed due to the April 25 earthquake.
The representatives of Private and Boarding Schools Organisation (Pabson) and N-Pabson representatives said that they could only waive the hostel and transportation fees, but not the tuition. They said that without charging the tuition, they won’t be able to pay the teachers and run the administrative works.
The student leaders, however, insisted that the schools should drop all charges, including the tuition for the Nepali month of Baisakh (mid-April to mid-May). They accused the private school operators of adding financial burden on the parents in time of crisis.
All private and public schools in 14 most quake-affected districts, which were closed for more than a month, resumed their classes on May 31.
The Ministry is trying to sort out the issue through the middle path. It has asked the private schools and student unions to forge the agreement on charging just 50 percent fee for the month. The two sides, however, are not pleased with the arrangement.
According to Pabson Chairperson Lakshya Bahadur KC, since the private schools have also suffered a huge loss in the disaster, they are not in a position to waive all the fees.
He said that the private schools are ready to waive library and computer fee and provide free education to the students orphaned in the earthquake, but they cannot drop the tuition fee.
Meanwhile, the 11 student unions have warned private schools of “stern action” if they do not withdraw the decision to charge tuition for the period when the schools were off due to the earthquake.
The Ministry has called for another round of meeting on Wednesday.