KMC warns schools against mandating students buy extra uniforms for festivals

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The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has issued a warning to schools that compel students to purchase additional clothing during festivals. Moti Bhattarai, an official from the Metropolitan Education Department, stated that complaints have been received regarding private schools within the city pressuring students to buy extra clothes in the name of various festivals. In response to the financial burden faced by students and parents, KMC has taken action and issued warnings to these schools. Failure to comply with the directive may result in fines and other consequences.

Officer Bhattarai explained, “There have been reports of private schools enforcing the purchase of extra clothes for Christmas. Parents are already facing economic difficulties. Additionally, there have been complaints within the schools that students who do not wear the specified attire are treated differently. This has negatively affected the educational environment under the guise of clothing and education.”

To address this issue, KMC has circulated a notice to all schools, urging them not to impose such requirements. Schools that fail to comply will face penalties under the Metropolitan Education Act, 2075 BS (Amendment), and other relevant laws. Furthermore, schools that force students to purchase more books and uniforms than prescribed by the Curriculum Development Centre will also face consequences.

“We have increased monitoring efforts. Schools that do not follow the directives will be questioned and asked for explanations,” Bhattarai affirmed. “If necessary, we may even resort to shutting down schools with the help of metropolitan police.”

Prem Rai, Chairperson of Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization Nepal (PABSON), stated that PABSON has not made it mandatory for students to buy extra clothing or textbooks. Rai, who is also the principal of Eden Bridge Academy in Tokha Municipality, added, “While our school imparts practical knowledge about various religious and cultural festivals, we do not burden parents with additional expenses for clothes or textbooks.”

Suprabhat Bhandari, President of Guardian’s Association Nepal, praised KMC’s decision. He believes that schools have distorted the true meaning of religion and culture by forcing students to buy extra clothing. “Kathmandu Metropolitan Municipality has taken a courageous step to address this distortion, and it deserves commendation. Schools should teach religion and culture without engaging in commercial activities that compromise the essence of education,” President Bhandari expressed.

Currently, there are 87 public and 504 private schools operating within the KMC.

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