Tuesday, 22 September, 2020
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School enrolment plan questioned



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Aug. 8: If the government does not step back from its previous decision to launch the enrolment campaign from August 17, all students across the county will get enrolment in new classes by August 30.
At a time when the infection rate of coronavirus is increasing day by day, stakeholders have, however, expressed their mixed reactions regarding the government decision to begin the enrolment campaign from next week.
Some of the stakeholders have stated that the government must not withdraw the enrolment programme, and the schools have to manage different options to resume learning opportunities for the students. However, other stakeholders have opposed the view, stating that the enrolment programme at this time of crisis was meaningless.
Educationist Dr. Bidhya Nath Koirala said that the children were deprived of their right to education for several months and the authorities were bothered least about this.
“The enrolment campaign should begin and all schools need to create environment to resume academic activities,” he added.
Learning of children should not be made complicated, the government should give validity to open learning so that the children could continue their study free from fear, Koirala said.
Rita Tiwari, headmaster of Padhma Kanya Secondary School, said many community schools of the Kathmandu Valley had already completed enrolment and distributed textbooks to their students. “Therefore, the government-announced enrolment campaign is not relevant for them,” she said.
Many of the community schools of the valley have also been running virtual classes, she added.
However, Rituraj Sapkota, chairperson of the National Private and Boarding School Association Nepal (NPABSON), said the enrollment programme could not be effective unless there was an assurance that the classes would resume immediately. Sapkota further said that the guardians would not agree to enroll their wards until they were assured that the classes would begin.
Meanwhile, the government has asked the private schools to register the names of children without telling them anything about the fees they could charge.
According to Sapkota, the private schools are facing management problem after the government prevented them from taking fees from students and kept silence about the fees they could charge during enrolment.
“If the government really wants to engage the children in learning activities, it must speak about the fees of the private schools so that they could manage teaching learning activities,” he further said.
Tulsi Prasad Thapaliya, director general of Center for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST), said the government had announced to begin the enrolment campaign from August 17 with a target of resuming the teaching-learning activities through suitable methods.
The Ministry of Education has been unable to fix the date to open the schools as the risk of coronavirus is still high.
About 7 million school students have been staying at home for five months; only a few of them have been engaging in learning activities through alternative mode. 


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