THIS refers to the advertisement ‘Private schools: the untold story’ (Sept 18) by the private schools association. I felt surprised on the audacity of the association where it has justified the increase and put the blame on the government’s failure to provide access to quality education to each child as is required vide Article 25 A of the Constitution.
No doubt that the government has failed in its task but this failure cannot be made an excuse by the private schools for earning supernormal profits. Whatever the private schools are claiming is true, then why are they reluctant to open up their financial account for public or government scrutiny?
The greed of private schools is evident from the fact that they are seeking courts interference to circumvent the Competition Commission’s endeavours of investigating the facts on price fixing.
The government must unearth the real financial figures and costing methodologies of private schools.
An intelligent debate on the matter can only take place when all the facts and figures are placed on a table for verification. Just discarding all the economic factors like Consumer Price Index, inflation by private schools are mere unqualified statements until supported with documentary evidence.
THE Prime Minister has directed the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) to seal such schools as were not readjusting their fees and not refunding the fees already charged. It has been observed that many private schools have charged extraordinarily high fees.
Private schools are not following the PM’s directives. As education is a provincial affair, the PM has already advised all chief ministers to design an education policy that could be followed nationwide. It is deplorable that no such measures are being taken in Sindh. The government should ensure against commercialisation of education.
PEIRA has formed a ‘grievances cell’ to redress the complaint of parents. Complainants can easily approach it through telephone, Fax, written request and email. A clarification is, however, required about whether this is only for residents of Islamabad or any parent all over the country.
PEIRA should pass necessary instructions to all provincial governments to form cells for grievances.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2015