FAISALABAD: Despite an official ban on receiving in advance the school fees for summer vacation, the Divisional Public School administration has issued vouchers to hundreds of its students asking them to deposit the fee for July, August and September before July 5, otherwise their names will be struck off.

The divisional commissioner, being head of the board of governors of the DPS, a semi-government school, did not reply to a message questioning issuance of the fee vouchers in violation of the government instructions.

On May 20, the chief executive officer of the education authority issued a letter to all the school heads, asking them categorically to refrain from receiving tuition fee for the summer vacation in advance.

The letter reads, “All the principals/owners of privately managed schools in Faisalabad are directed that tuition fee for summer vacation will be charged on monthly basis and parents/guardians shall not be pressed/harassed for advance payment. These directions/instructions be implemented in letter and spirit and the principals/owners found in violation these directions, strict action will be taken against defaulters which may entail imposition of fine or cancellation of the registration of school.”

The parents of the students, upon receiving the vouchers when contacted the school administration and reminded it of the government instruction as well as the apex court decision banning summer vacation fee, were curtly told to pay the fee, otherwise the name of their ward would be struck off.

They said one could well imagine what would be the approach of the private schools with regard to summer vacation fee when a school managed by the divisional administration was itself violating official instructions.

The parents appealed to the Supreme Court and Punjab chief minister to look into the issue.

Ahmed, whose son is enrolled at the DPS main campus, deplored that there was no change in the school policy on summer vacation despite the apex court directions. He said the commissioner must be held responsible for this.

Hafiz Abdul Nasir, president of the Punjab Government Schools Senior Staff Association (SSA), said the DPS being a semi-government institution should not violate government directions and provide relief to the parents during summer vacation.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019