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Complete record of private schools’ fee structure sought

Updated November 20, 2018

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The Sindh High Court building.— Photo courtesy SHC
The Sindh High Court building.— Photo courtesy SHC

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed a senior education department official to file till Dec 3 the complete record of fee structure of private schools that had been approved by the provincial authorities.

A three-member SHC bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, was hearing contempt of court applications with regard to non-implementation of the court’s earlier order about hike in schools’ annual tuition fee.

The bench also directed the lawyers for private schools to file their reply in the next hearing.

On Monday, the director general of the directorate of inspection of private schools, Mansoob Siddiqui, appeared before the bench and filed an interim report.

The bench came down heavily on Mr Siddiqui for not implementing its order and warned of initiating contempt of court proceedings against him.

Mr Siddiqui said that he suspended the registration of two private schools for not complying with the court order. He said that he was helpless since the management of the schools was influential.

The bench said it was unfortunate that the provincial authorities were often seen under pressure of influential individuals.

It also expressed displeasure with the management of schools and their lawyers for not complying with its order and still issuing previous fee vouchers to the parents of students. The lawyers sought time to file comments.

The bench directed the DG to come up with a complete report of the approved fee structure on the next date.

The parents of a large number of students enrolled in various private schools across Karachi filed applications seeking contempt of court proceedings against management of schools for allegedly defying the Sept 3 judgement of the bench, which ruled that the private schools could not enhance the annual tuition fees more than five per cent.

Applicants’ lawyers contended that despite the SHC judgement, the schools had enhanced the tuition fee more than five per cent. They informed the bench that as per the director general of the directorate of inspection of private schools the record of fee structure was lost in rain.

On Sept 3, the same bench had declared more than 5pc increase in annual tuition fees by the private schools and institutions as illegal and directed the schools to refund the amount within three months.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018

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