Four schools to face action for overcharging studentsThe Department of Supply Management has been readying to begin legal proceedings against four academic institutions that were found charging excessive fees from their students for varied services.
The Department of Supply Management has been readying to begin legal proceedings against four academic institutions that were found charging excessive fees from their students for varied services. It has prepared a charge sheet against the schools, and will be sending the paperwork to the District Attorney Office to obtain its legal advice.
Among the four schools facing action, three are based in Lalitpur and one in Kathmandu: GEMS School, Dhapakhel; Rato Bangala School, Patan; Premier International School, Satdobato and Chandbagh School, Bansbari.
According to the department, it will be filing cases against the schools under the Consumer Protection Act 1998. If the charges are proven, the operators each face a two-year jail term and a Rs100,000 fine or both.
“We have sought legal advice to file cases under Clause 18 (F) of the act,” said a department official who requested anonymity. “The department has already prepared the documents for GEMS and is in the final stages of preparing the documents for the other three schools,” the source said. The department conducted inspections of these schools in the last one and a half months. During investigation, it was discovered that they had not obtained permission from the concerned District Education Offices to enforce their fee structures.
As per the department, GEMS has been collecting more than Rs25 million annually in additional fees from its students. There are around 2,000 students in the school. It has been charging Rs765 under the heading of primary treatment, Rs2,650 as renovation fee, Rs1,200 for extra activities and Rs5,500 for resident charge from each student on an annual basis.
Similarly, Rato Bangala School has been collecting Rs3.4 million under various headings on top of the regular tuition fees. The school contains 600 students and collects Rs2,810 annually from each student for its social fund. “In addition, the school has been charging Rs3,000 annually for curriculum support materials from each student,” the source said.
Likewise, Premier International School collects a total of Rs25,000 per month from each student. In addition, the school charges Rs14,700 annually under the heading of IB and Class Room ICT from each student. There are 350 students in the school, which means it collects more than Rs5.1 million annually under this heading.
Chandbagh School charges Rs25,000 from each student under the heading of development fee which amounts to Rs19.1 million annually. Apart from the regular tuition fees, the school collects an additional Rs4,875 per month from each student under the heading of monthly service charge.
Although the government has issued the Institutional School Fee Fixation Standard Directive 2016 for fee structures, most schools have not been following it. Many schools have not been providing the facilities for which they take hefty sums from their students.
While the law requires schools to provide scholarships to at least 10 percent of their students, many schools have not been doing so, the department said.
SCHOOLS under the microscope
- GEMS School in Dhapakhel
- Rato Bangala School in Patan
- Premier International School in Satdobato
- Chandbagh School in Bansbari