RAWALPINDI: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) has assigned the District Coordination Officer (DCO), Mianwali, Talat Mehmood Gondal, to represent parents in future meetings of the Private Schools Regulatory Authority of the Rawalpindi district.

After parents protested against the increase in school fee, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure schools charged the same fee as they did last year.

In September, the Punjab Government constituted regulatory bodies for each district of Punjab under Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation Amendment) Ordinance 2015, to regulate the affairs of the schools.

DCO Mianwali will represent parents at the Rawalpindi district regulatory body in violation of the law.

Executive District Officer Education Qazi Zahoorul Haq, who will chair the Private Schools Regulation Authority, justified the decision by saying that since Talat Gondal’s children studied in SLS school in Rawalpindi, therefore, he could represent all parents as a member of the committee.

Moreover, the unregistered schools have missed the Nov 15 deadline for documentation with the regulatory authority as it (the authority) has not even held its first meeting as yet. The local administration has now given 15 more days to the schools to get registered.

A senior CDGR official told Dawn the authority would hold its first meeting in a couple of days “to take up the matter of registering private schools in the district”.

He said the regulatory body had requested the local administration for an extension in the deadline, which has now been set as November 30.

Executive District Officer Education, Qazi Zahoorul Haq confirmed the extension in the deadline and said a total of 1,650 private schools were registered with the CDGR and that 60 more had applied to be registered. He added that more than 2,500 more private schools were yet to be registered.

Mr Zahoorul Haq said that the regulatory authority would implement the government’s directives across all private schools and that the fee problem would also be resolved soon. He said after the schools were registered, the education department would monitor the fee rates and the quality of education.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2015