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SAHIWAL: Parents have complained that private schools are collecting tuition fee for summer vacation months -- June to August -- from them in violation the Punjab education secretary school’s order that fee be collected month to month.

As there is no regulatory body to check such violations, parents say they have to face this situation every year.

Ali, of Farid Town, said his two sons were enrolled in a private school of the locality and “it is hard for me and many of mine friends to deposit three-month fee in the first week of June”.

Dawn learned there are around 600 private schools where more than 17,000 children are studying in district Sahiwal.

A private school owner said, on the condition of anonymity, private schools had to collect fee in advance to pay building rents, utility bills, teachers’ salaries and other expenditures.

Other than fee collection, Saima, of Farid Town, says schools mint money from parents throughout the year. Parents are bound to buy bags, uniforms, belts, stationery, books and copies from school shops, she adds.

Muhammad Afzal says why the government does not streamline the affairs of private schools.

Executive District Officer Aazaz Ahmed Khan said there were clear-cut instructions that private schools would collect fee on a monthly basis.

A district education official said the department was helpless to take action against the schools if parents were in agreement with schools to pay the fee in lump sum.

Ihsanullah, a parent, said there did not exist any such agreement. He demanded rules be set to control money minting postures by private schools.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2015

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