ISLAMABAD: Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Secretary Nargis Ghaloo has directed the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to look into allegations that the Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) I-10 charged admission fees from students.
Taking notice of a complaint filed by a parent, the CADD secretary directed FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi to hold an inquiry into the issue, as schools are bound not to charge students under Article 25-A of the Constitution.
IMCB I-10/1’s management allegedly charged students Rs200 in admissions fees and Rs500 for a prospectus.
Following Ms Ghaloo’s directive, Mr Qureshi constituted a two-member inquiry committee led by Area Education Officer (Urban) Dr Shafqat Janjua.
Two-member committee to probe complaint that IMCB I-10 charged admission fees, sold prospectuses
College principal Dr Ehsan Mehmood confirmed that an inquiry has been ordered. He added: “Being the head of IMCB I-10, let me say that we are not collecting any admission fees. Yes, we sell a prospectus for first and second year classes, but not for school sections.”
Dr Mehmood is also the Tarnol area education officer, and said he would clarify the college’s position before the inquiry committee.
Some FDE officials have alleged that school heads without budgets have been charging students admission fees, fines and so on, as they receive nominal funding – between Rs40,000 to Rs60,000 annually – for office stationery, and no funding to carry out repairs or maintenance work.
They said that before Article 25-A was implemented heads of schools would collect monthly fees to run day to day affairs and hold examinations.
After 2013, when the government decided to implement Article 25-A, the collection of fees was prohibited.
“We are not charging fee, but yes school heads face problems meeting day to day [expenses]. I get Rs50,000 annually for stationery – how I can manage examinations? We definitely get financial assistance from the parent teacher association to conduct examinations,” said a school principal who asked not to be named.
She added that there were reports that some school heads were collecting illegal admission fees and imposing fines on students.
A couple of years ago, the FDE misinterpreted Article 25-A and decided to charge prep students Rs100 fees. The decision was withdrawn after significant criticism.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2017
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