Pvt schools, colleges demand 15,000 litres of fuel per day

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Nov 17, 2015-

Private academic institutions that have remained closed for about a month now have demanded regular supply of fuel so that they could run classes after Chhath.

The Association of Private Educational Institutions of Nepal (Apein), an umbrella body of private schools and colleges, has asked the government to provide 15,000 litres of diesel and petrol daily, saying that educational institutions must be recognised as the essential service sector. As per the schedule, the schools and college should resume classes from Wednesday (Nov 18) after festival holidays.

Thousands of students depend on school buses in the Capital. According to Karna Bahadur Shahi, chairman of the Apein steering committee, more than 2,000 vehicles of schools and colleges ferry students in the valley for which they require more than 30,000 litres of diesel and petrol every day. Apien, however, has demanded only half of the required amount in view of the ongoing crisis.

“Schools and colleges cannot run classes unless the government ensures smooth supply of fuel,” said Shahi.

Apein is an umbrella association of around a dozen associations of private schools and colleges affiliated to various universities. Shahi said that they have approached various ministries as well as the Embassy of India in Kathmandu to ensure smooth supply of fuel.

 A delegation comprising representatives from the Private and Boarding Schools Organisation Nepal (Pabson) and N-Pabson is scheduled to meet Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae on Tuesday to inform him about the problems schools and colleges are facing in the wake of acute crisis of petroleum products.

Similarly, an Apien team is scheduled to hold meetings with the Minister for Education, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Supplies on Wednesday. “Further decision will be taken after the meetings,” said Pabson chairman Lachhe Bahadur KC.

Following the earthquake on April 25, students had missed 26 school days. The government and Apein had agreed to adjust the calendar by cutting down on vacation and festival holidays.

However, the ongoing protests in the Tarai and border obstructions have resulted in acute fuel crisis, making it difficult for schools and colleges to run classes smoothly. According to Hari Lamsal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, the ministry has asked the concerned ministries to ease fuel supply to vehicles belonging to academic institutions.

Protests in the Tarai have shut academic institutions in the plains for around three months. Out of the 220 school days, schools in the Tarai have already lost more than 75 days.

In numbers

 2,000: School and college vehicles that ferry students everyday

 30,000: Litres of fuel required everyday by schools and colleges

 220: Number of school days as per the academic calendar

 26: Number of days that students lost immediately after April 25 quake

Published: 17-11-2015 08:51

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