The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday barred all private schools from increasing tuition fees by more than five per cent for any given year.

The SHC's three-member larger bench ruled in favour of the Parents Action Committee, a group of more than 2,000 parents who had moved the court against what they deemed were unjust and extortive increases in tuition fees on an annual basis.

Take a look: How the private schools' fee hike is holding education hostage in Pakistan

The court had already passed an interim order that restrained private schools from raising their fee by more than 5pc.

The petitioners had pointed out that private schools could not increase fees by more than 5pc in an academic year under the existing rules and regulations; yet, they had argued, some private schools routinely increase fees by more than 10pc, in violation of rules.

Early in 2016, while hearing an identical petition, the SHC had directed the provincial education department to ensure enforcement of rules that bind private institutions from raising their fees by more than five per cent in an academic year and then further requires them to revise fee structure with the prior approval of the government.

Recently, the Islamabad High Court had barred private schools altogether from collecting fees during summer vacations. Meanwhile, in a separate case, the Peshawar High Court had said schools cannot collect more than half of the tuition fee for vacations that extend over 30 days and had declared an annual 'promotion fee' illegal.

In June, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had ignored a request from private schools seeking interim relief against the PHC's judgement, observing instead: “Why don’t we direct the government to take over all private schools charging heavily?”

More details to follow.



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