School shutdown hits over 3 million students nationwide

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Sep 19, 2014-

A majority of private schools, including engineering and nursing colleges, across the country were closed on Friday owing to the protest called by All Nepal National Independent Student Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), the student wing of Mohan Baidya led CPN-Maoist.

The union which has announced series of protests against private academic institutions closed some 10,000 of private schools, from pre-primary to the university level, demanding a review in tuition fee that was increased a few months ago. Over 3 million students from private schools, engineering colleges under Purbanchal and Tribhuvan University and the nursing colleges affiliated to Council for the Technical Education and Vocational Training were affected.

The agitating students also vandalised the office of Milestone School in Lalitpur for defying the closure.

The operators of the private academic institutions labelled the protest as irresponsible act and carelessness over the future of the students. “This act is condemnable. The future of the innocent students is being put on stake in the name of pressing demands,” said Lachhe Bahadur KC, chairman of Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal, an umbrella organisation of private schools across the country. He said many schools were forced to postpone the terminal exams scheduled for Friday.  

 Despite the verdict of the Supreme Court and the direction from the Central Fee Determination and Monitoring Committee, private schools had increased the tuition by around 20 percent in May.

Following a protest by the union that month, private school operators had

reached an agreement to adjust the tuition rates. The agitating student union claims that the agreement was not honoured.

“We had to take this unpopular move because of the reluctance from the school operators to implement the agreement,” said Lal Bahadur Tamang, ANNISU-R treasurer.

Agreement reached

The tripartite meeting between the agitating union, government officials and the representatives of private academic institutions reached an agreement on Friday, paving way for the withdrawal of the protest launched by student union affiliated to the CPN-Maoist . The meeting held at the Ministry of Education reached the agreements, including adjusting the tuition rates as per the accord reached in May 19 and forming a high level commission to find the solution to  the fee which has contributed for the protest every year. According to Karna Bahadur Shahi, chairman of National Private and Boarding Schools Association Nepal, the agitating students will withdraw the shutdown and remove the padlocks at the account sections of some 300 schools and colleges.

Published: 20-09-2014 09:23

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