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Private school directives okayed in Nepal
Publication Date : 20-02-2013
With the commencement of the new academic session in April, private and institutional schools in Nepal will not be allowed to spend more than half a million Nepalese rupees (US$5,687.04) on advertisements, according to a new directive endorsed by the government on Tuesday.
The Private and Institutional Schools Directives 2012 has set a ceiling of 300,000 rupees for basic (grade one to eight) schools and 500,000 rupees for secondary level schools for advertising themselves. Starting this new academic session, all schools will have to get permission from the respective District Education Offices on the total expenditure and the content of their advertisements before disseminating them through the media.
In the name of controlling extravagant publicity of private schools , student unions last year had removed and burnt down hoarding boards from different parts of the city.
Consequently, schools will not be allowed to erect billboards outside of their school premises and will have to relocate existing ones. Furthermore, schools will not get to start any kind of admission advertisement before March 14 and can start admission procedures only after March 28.
The new directive, formulated by a nine-member team led by Director at the Department of Education Tek Narayan Pandey with representation from private school owners, guardians and journalists, has also fixed the maximum weight of the bags schoolchildren carry. The directive has banned bags for pre-primary children while bags should not be heavier than 4 kilograms for students from grades one to five, 6 kilograms for grades six to eight, and 8 kilograms for those in grades nine and above. The prescribed weight accounts for a water bottle and a lunch box.
“As the directive was finalised after several rounds of discussions with all the stakeholders, it will be strictly followed,” informed Pandey.
The directives have also barred more than 15 basic and 10 secondary schools from operating in one ward in the metropolitan city, and set a maximum of 10 basic and five secondary schools in each ward of a sub-metropolitan city. Similarly, only a maximum of seven basic and three secondary schools will be allowed in each ward in municipalities while Village Development Committees will have seven basic and three secondary schools at the most.
Poudel said no new licences for schools will be issued in major cities for now and the ban will be lifted once the mapping of school need is completed. “This will lead private school operators to move to rural areas and open new schools ,” he said.
According to the new directive, schools with the word ‘international’ in their name must acquire International Organization for Standardization certification and at least one per cent of students should be from foreign countries. Furthermore, schools should name themselves after national heroes, intellectuals, scientists, historical icons or places. The 26-page directive has also set standards for school vehicles, uniforms, classrooms, furniture, hostels, food, libraries and laboratories.
“Schools that cannot abide by the set standards can merge with other schools or get other partners,” read the directive.