Parents, children protest against fee hike by private schools

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TANVEER ABBAS

Islamabad

Parents and children staged a demonstration outside the National Press Club on Sunday against the unjustified increase in school fee by various private schools.

The protesting parents said that the private schools have jacked up the fee while the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) has turned a deaf ear to the issue after issuing formal awnings.

Nisar Shah Advocate and Shafique Chaudhry, both members of the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), spoke to the protesters and slammed the government for failing to take against owners of private schools.

The protesting parents said that on the one hand, Prime Minister Khan was promising to do away with the class system and on the other hand, the private schools were looting the parents in the name of annual charges and fee.

They demanded that the government implemented a uniform education system in the country to get rid of the private institutes.  They also demanded that the government increased the education budget up to 10 percent and brought radical reforms in the public sector education system.

They also demanded activation of the PEIRA and implementation of the rules for controlling the fee structure of the private institutes.

They asked the federal government to establish a board under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) consisting of principals of schools, parents and retired senior professors in the decision-making process to ensure good quality facilities in government schools.

Moreover, the parents also asked that O and A-levels should be introduced in all government schools and colleges of the federal capital. Private schools should not take an extra fee on the pretext of annual parties, equipment charges, laboratory fee, computer, stationery and other charges.

They demanded suspension of Ali Raza as the adviser to PM who, according to them, was an employee of a private school system. By making such appointments, the government is indirectly paving the way to owners of private schools for profiteering, they said.

They demanded to connect the annual increase of fee with the Consumers Price Index and annual court hearings should be conducted to fix the fee.

They also demanded to end the laws of private institutes which violate the Constitution of Pakistan and legal action should be taken against them.

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