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Free Education and Scholarships: A New Directive from the Ministry of Education

News 21 Mar 2024 632 0

Ministry of Education Building

Free Education and Scholarships: A New Directive from the Ministry of Education

In a significant move aimed at enhancing the accessibility and quality of education in Nepal, the Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Sumana Shrestha, has issued a comprehensive directive to local authorities. This directive mandates the provision of free education in public schools and outlines guidelines for fee regulation and scholarship distribution in private institutions. Here's what you need to know:

  • Free Education in Public Schools: Following the constitution and the Compulsory and Free Education Act of 2075, the Ministry has reinforced the mandate that education up to the secondary level (class 12) must be offered free of charge. This includes exemption from enrollment fees, periodical exams, and textbook costs in public schools.

  • Regulation of Private School Fees: The directive stipulates that private schools are only permitted to charge fees as determined by the local authorities. This decision was taken to ensure that the cost of private education remains within reasonable bounds, safeguarding the right to education.

  • Scholarship Distribution: A notable aspect of the directive is the enforcement of a scholarship system in private and Guthi-run schools. At least 10% of students from early childhood development up to class 12 should benefit from free education under this scheme, with specific quotas based on the school's enrollment numbers.

  • Local Authority Responsibilities: Local levels have been tasked with the responsibility of setting school fees and managing the scholarship distribution system. They are also required to establish scholarship management committees for efficient implementation and monitoring of these policies.

  • Transparency and Accountability: The directive calls for greater transparency and accountability in the setting of fees and the distribution of scholarships. Schools are warned against imposing additional charges not specified by the local authorities and are encouraged to publish details of their fee structures and scholarship programs.

  • Prohibition of Exclusive Sales: The Ministry has addressed concerns about schools mandating the purchase of educational materials from designated shops, often at inflated prices. Such practices are now prohibited, with a push towards more equitable and accessible options for parents and students.

This groundbreaking directive from the Ministry of Education is a stride towards ensuring that every child in Nepal has access to quality education without financial barriers. By regulating fees in private schools and enhancing scholarship opportunities, the government aims to uphold the constitutional right to education and foster a more inclusive and equitable educational landscape. As these policies are implemented across the country, the hope is that more students will be able to pursue their academic ambitions, regardless of their financial background.

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