The government has paved the way for private schools to charge fees for online classes. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, has made the decision to allow private schools to collect the fee from students after a meeting with Council of Ministers.

The Student Learning Facilitation Guideline prepared by Ministry of Education (MoE) allows private schools to charge fee amount approved by the local level. The guideline states, “School fees will be subject to the prevailing law as approved by the local level.”

Earlier, the MoE had decided not to charge fees in the name of online classes or any other distance learning form.

According to the directive issued by the ministry, schools have been conducting online classes since mid-June. The government has decided not to allow admission of students and conduct examinations at least till mid-September owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents, on the other hand, have stressed the need to set transitional fees during the coronavirus pandemic period.

The chairman of the Nepal Parents Association, Suprabhat Bhandari, emphasizes on the need to determine the convenient fee during coronavirus period.

“Parents are not asking for free education, but there should not be exploitation,” says Bhandari.

Bhandari also said not more than 50 percent of the monthly fee should be charged. “School administrators should not forget that the lockdown and the ban have affected parents as well,” he said.

He also said it is not appropriate to charge the expenses of transportation, lunch and other expenses as students will not be going to school.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the education of more than 9 million students at the school level alone in Nepal.