Minister steps over legal provision to permit school

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, Pokhara
Minister steps over legal provision to permit school

Aug 23, 2014-

Stepping over legal provisions, Education Minister Chitralekha Yadav has granted operating permit to a school that was running without one. A ministerial level meeting on August 14 had decided to grant operating permission to Happy Boarding School, for first to fifth grade, which happens to be against the law.

Although the education policy states that permission can only be given to those applying before the commencement of the education year, while permits are to be granted to add a grade each year. The District Education Officer Ambika Prasad Acharya said that they had taken the decision as per the directive of the centre. Furthermore, the school that had remained closed since the past 22 years has been operating classes till the seventh grade. The permission was granted disregarding the cabinet decision of March 13 last year. A school is apparently scrapped automatically if it does not operate for three continuous years but HBS which was granted the permission to operate in ward-1 had remained closed since 2002. The school has stepped on almost all legal provisions, yet, managed to get the approval and in a different location. According to chairperson of Nepal Teachers’ Union in Kaski Jagannath Adhikari, the permission had disregarded every legal provision.

Moreover, the education policy does not allow the establishment of more than five primary schools in one municipality. Ward-7, however, has six. Adhikari said that they had no option but to approve the decision as the DEO had remained adamant on its stance claiming that the decision had been made by the centre. On a previous occasion, the DEO itself had disapproved a similar recommendation as the District Administration Office had also issued a directive for action.

According to Acharya, the whole process was completed within two days. Furthermore, going against norms where Local Development officer chairs the meeting of the DEO over similar matters, the meeting was called when the LDO was not present, only for the district engineer to be acting chief. Acharya had called for the meeting as soon as the school owners had received the letter in the Capital.

“Even though it is the norm to inform about the meeting and agenda 72 hours earlier, it was not done,” Adhikari said. “The DEO had stood firm on its stance for about an hour and a half stating that the school was under the purview of ministers and secretaries and even though we did not approve at once, we were compelled to take the decision after Acharya kept repeating that we had no alternative as the directives had come straight from the education minister.

Meanwhile, rubbishing allegations against him, Acharya dared them to prove his involvement in any kind of financial irregularity.

Published: 24-08-2014 09:15

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