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— White Star
— White Star

ISLAMABAD: Scores of parents on Sunday staged a protest demonstration against private school owners for charging exorbitant fees and appealed to the prime minister to take notice of the issue.

Under the banner of Pakistan Parents, the protestors gathered in front of the National Press Club. They held banners and placards and said that in 2016, the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) had framed new rules and capped fees.

According to the 2016 rules, the upper limit for monthly fee for matric, FA and F.Sc was Rs8,350 while that for O and A-levels was Rs12,525.

Peira had decided that is schools wanted to increase their fee, the operators will have to convince the regulatory body, which will determine what the fee is to be.

However, private school owners later said the rules were unjustified, filed cases in court and got a decision in their favour.

The protesting parents said the rules must be implemented in all schools to protect parents’ rights.

“Private schools are charging exorbitant fees at their own will and they are asking parents to submit affidavits that they will not challenge the fee,” a parent, Hamid Khan said.

The parents urged the chief justice to club all fee-related cases in various courts and announce a comprehensive decision. They said that due to long stay orders and pending litigation, school operators are free to increase fee.

The protestors said private school owners should not be part of academic authorities as that is a conflict of interest. They urged the prime minister to form a special task force for the private education sector.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018