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Under fire PABSON defies MoE guidelines

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, March 12: In what amounts to a challenge to the Supreme Court (SC) order and the government´s guideline, the Private and Boarding School Association of Nepal (PABSON) has said that it will not comply with the recently introduced Private and Boarding School Directive 2013.

Organizing a press meet on Monday, the PABSON core committee members said that the private schools would not implement the guidelines that were against their business. The PABSON has demanded amendments to the new directive to turn the directive in their favor.

The PABSON, which was involved in writing the draft the guideline, had participated in every discussion sessions organized by the MoE until the preparation of the final directive. But now, following the immense pressure from its district-based executive committees, the organization is taking a contradictory stand.

It has been learnt that the PABSON´s latest move has come after the district members´ threatened to replace the present central committee.

“PABSON district members are strongly opposed to the merger policy which, they said, would not be sustainable,” said Umesh Shrestha, advisor to PABSON.

The directive states that the schools with poor infrastructures and less than 22 students in each class would be forced to undergo a merger. If the directive gets implemented, around 4000 private schools face merger. The number represents 40 percent of the total schools in the country.

Similarly, the directive also includes provisions on earthquake sustainability of school buildings, playgrounds, practical labs and libraries.

It also puts a limit on the weight of bags students carry depending upon their grade. Likewise, the standard distance for the Kathmandu Valley-based students and across the country has been set and the District Education Offices have been authorized to monitor the implementation.

The PABSON Chairman Baburam Pokhrel also opposed the limitations on how much schools and colleges can spend on advertisements arguing that any organization registered with the Office of the Company Registrar can´t be restricted on ads.

“The government guideline does not prioritize quality education,” he said. “The private sector needs at least five years to create the infrastructure as described by the directive.”

There are around 10,000 private schools in the country.

Pokhrel and his committee members said that the private sector would revolt if the government does not amend the law.

Meanwhile, the Guardians´ Association of Nepal (GoN) has given seven days ultimatum to PABSON to begin the implementation process or be prepared for strong protests from the guardians.

On the same day, GoN Chairman Suprabhat Bhandari handed over a black flag to PABSON at its central office in Dillibazar.

Meanwhile, government officials have said that those private institutions who defy the law would ultimately face strict actions. The MoE spokesperson Mahashram Sharma said the guidelines introduced after a phase-wise discussion among all the stakeholders can´t be amended to fulfill the vested interests of any individual organization.

“PABSON is not a parallel government to flout the legal directive and it cannot defy the court order,” mentioned Sharma. “The government will make sure that PABSON complies or it will face action.”

The nine member committee that drafted the law included the director of the Department of Education, representatives of the GoN, student leaders, journalists, PABSON and N-PABSON. The directive came into effect on February 19 following the Supreme Court verdict to regulate the private institutions.

Source: Republica Daily
Published on 2013-03-12 03:38:42
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About nirjanasharma

Journalist.

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