Students charged in the name of English medium education
Dhankuta, December 19
Most community schools in Dhankuta were found to be charging fees from students in the name of English medium education though the government has declared free education up to secondary level.
The schools collected fees from students at the time of admission saying that teaching-learning activities would be carried out in English. The authority concerned chose to stay mum. Community schools took fees from children as per their classes like in private schools. The schools also charged students for providing educational materials such as copies, pencils, among other materials.
The schools also collected fees from students to pay for water and electricity bills and salary of teachers managed through private sources.
Community schools in the district collected Rs 1,000 from students who preferred admissions in English-taught Grade VIII and IX classes. Students from Grade I to VIII pay somewhere between Rs 100 to 700 during admission.
Head teacher Yagya Prasad Chapagain in Gokundeshwor Secondary School, Siranbazaar, said the school took fees as per agreement with the guardians. “It is difficult to release the salary to the teachers of private sources as there is no other source of income,” he added. Chapagain said the school took
annual fees (Rs 100 to 175) from students of Grade I to V, Rs 700 from students of Grade VI and VII and Rs 900 to Rs 1000 from students of Grade VIII to X.
Another head teacher Ram Bahadur Dhakal at Ram Secondary School, Rambazaar Leguwa, said the school would not take any fee from guardians if the state managed all the expenditure of classes taught in English-medium, physical infrastructure, teacher quota, among other facilities. A head teacher, Damodar Mishra, at Gokundeshwor Balmandir Secondary School, Tallokopchhe, said the schools took fees to promote the education standard.
The number of students increased in community schools after the schools introduced teaching-learning activities in English medium. There are 291 community schools in the district.
A version of this article appears in print on December 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.