For the first time, the government announces cash incentives to promote merger of private schools in the publicThe incentive sum ranges from Rs 2 million to Rs 5 million.
The government for the first time has announced a cash incentive package to promote the merger of private schools with the public ones.
The Centre for Education and Human Resource Development, under the Ministry of Education, on Wednesday announced three categories of the incentive package, ranging from Rs 2 million to Rs 5 million.
According to the work plan prepared by the centre, the public school that manages to merge a private school that teaches up to Grade 5 will receive Rs 2 million. The amount will be increased to Rs 3 million if the private school entering the merger is teaching up to Grade 8.
Similarly, the public school that succeeds in merging a secondary level private school will get Rs 5 million.
Officials say the scheme was announced after some local governments started the school merger drive.
“Not all private schools are financially sound. If they merge with public schools, a new synergy will be developed which will help boost the quality of education,” Im Narayan Shrestha, the centre’s joint secretary, told the Post. “This is the first time that the government has announced incentives to merge private schools.”
The provision will be applicable even for those schools that were merged since the academic year 2017.
Once the merger is finalised, the teachers and staff from private schools can continue their jobs as contract employees, according to the work plan.
The incentive money can be used to provide salary to the teachers and staff, according to Shrestha.
The government can also increase the posts of teachers in those schools if there is a remarkable increment in student enrolment.
Last year, two rural municipalities in Palpa district had succeeded in merging six private schools with public schools.
Five private schools from Purbakhola Rural Municipality and one from Gulmi Durbar Rural Municipality were merged with local public schools. The local governments in the two rural municipalities plan to merge all private schools in their areas with public schools under ‘No Private School’ plan.
“This is a welcome move from the Education Ministry,” said Nun Bahadur Thapa, chairperson of Purbakhola Rural Municipality. “I believe this will prompt other local governments to start the merger drive.”
Two local governments in Nawalpur and Jhapa districts have already started the initiative to merge private and public schools in their areas.
Meanwhile, the government also has announced incentives for merger between public schools.
The incentive for the merger between two public schools ranges from Rs 2.5 million (for schools teaching up to Grade 5) to Rs 5 million (for schools teaching up to Grade 12).
Starting fiscal year 2014-15, the government has been announcing the merger drive among public schools through the national budget.
Continuous drop in the student enrolment rate had prompted the government to announce the merger plan among 200 schools that year.