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The School Fee Fixing and Monitoring Central Committee on Sunday directed all private schools across the country not to implement their decision to hike school fee by 25 percent.

The decision has come as a big relief to the guardians wary of the unilateral fee hike.

A five-hour long meeting of the committee held at Department of Education (DoE), Sanothimi, Bhaktapur, made the decision to this effect, according to Chitra Devkota, director of the DoE.

Devkota said both Private and Boarding Schools Association of Nepal (PABSON) and National Private and Boarding Schools Association of Nepal (N-PABSON) had agreed to send circulars to all their affiliate schools not to implement their earlier decision to hike fees by 25 percent. “We have also decided to direct all district education offices in this regard,” he added.

Private schools had recently hiked fees by 25 per cent in response to government decision to impose five per cent Education Service Tax (EST). The government has criticized the move, saying that the five percent EST was supposed to be taken from the profits earned by the schools, not from the guardians.

The 11-member committee comprises director general and director of the DoE, two representatives of Ministry of Education, educationists, a representative of guardians’ association and chairpersons of PABSON and N-PABSON, among others.

The private schools have agreed to fix the fees in a scientific manner and adjust fees in each school accordingly. “This does not allow private schools to flatly hike fees by 25 percent,” said Suprabhat Bhandari, President of Guardians’ Association of Nepal (GAN).

As per the existing legal provision, private schools can effect fee hike only after the fee fixing committee endorses a proposal to this effect. And this should be done two month before the start of new academic session. But the PABSON and N-PABSON had failed to follow this due process.

PABSON President Bhoj Bahadur Shah said that they have agreed to direct all schools to submit a proposal justifying fee hike to district monitoring committees concerned. “New fee structure will come into effect after the committee endorses the fee hike proposal,” he said.
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