Half a dozen community schools in Biratnagar that had adopted English-medium curriculum five years ago have hiked up the school fees. The guardians complain of the steep hike in school fees stating that they can no longer afford to send their wards to English medium community schools.
Sources said that the schools have been charging at least Rs 11,000 to Rs 15,000 annually from the students of grade 6 to grade 10 on the pretext of providing salary to the additional teachers appointed by the school and for various school management expenses.
Pokhariya Secondary School, Satyanarayan Secondary School, Aadarsha Secondary School, Gograha Secondary School, Saraswati Secondary School and Radhakrishna Secondary School in Biratnagar have hiked their fees, prompting many guardians to raise their voice against the price hike.
Khemraj Bhattarai, the principal of Pokhariya Secondary School, said, “With the available human resources and management, we can only impart education through Nepali medium curriculum. We cannot adopt English medium curriculum without adding skilled teachers and management.”
According to Pokhariya School, 20 teachers are appointed through the private fund of the school.
“We have raised the fees to provide salaries to the teachers and to manage classrooms,” said Bhattarai, adding that his school cannot afford to conduct classes in English medium if they do not hike the school fees.
Dharma Kharel, the principal of Satya Narayan Secondary School, said that his school will not charge any fees from students if the government bears the expenses of turning a Nepali medium school to an English medium school.
The government provides free textbooks to the students of the community schools. Biratnagar Metropolis has also made a declaration to develop all community schools in Biratnagar that have adopted English medium teaching into model schools.
Rudra Dulal, chief of the education section at the metropolis, said the government schools have to charge fees from the students if they are to adopt English medium teaching.
“They have to charge more to supplement additional human resources to conduct classes in English, as the government has not helped the community schools in terms of adding more manpower,” said Dulal.