RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government has notified District Registration Authority (DRA) that will regulate private schools in Rawalpindi district.
Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar will be the chairman of the authority, District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Azam Kashif secretary, and Naeemul Hassan Awan and Irfan Muzaffar Kiani representatives of the parents and private schools, respectively.
The government issued the notification regarding the DRA on Oct 24 and the deputy commissioner’s office received it on Saturday. Later, in the day a meeting of DRA was called and it started determination of fee of private schools as per directives of the Supreme Court.
A senior official of the District Education Authority told Dawn that the fee structure of 78 schools charging fee of over Rs4,000 had been revised. “The formula was given by the Supreme Court. There is no increase in fee since 2017 and fee was frozen at the rates prevailing in January 2017,” he explained.
He said that in the registration authority, the schools submitted applications to increase their fee by more than five per cent as under the law, the registration authority will determine the fee from five per cent to eight per cent.
The official said that baseline of the fee was 2017 and all the 78 private schools, including Beacon House, Roots, Educators and others, had submitted their applications with the DRA, which allowed the fee increase and asked the schools to display the list on the notice boards for the information of parents.
He said that if any school or parents had objection in this regard they could submit the same before the District Education Authority (DEA), Rawalpindi, within a week. He said that the fee data was not collected by the district administration or DEA, but the schools’ administration provided it by themselves.
He said that the district administration had also directed the DEA to start survey in the district to unearth the schools charging more than Rs4,000 fee from the students. He said that there were many schools which were not yet registered with the registration authority.
“In the absence of District Registration Authority, the private schools blamed the District Education Authority for using delaying tactics to register educational institution, but now they had to submit their applications,” he said.
He said that the district monitoring officers would check the buildings, facilities and other standard operating procedures issued by the provincial government for the private educational institutions and quality of education there.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar said that the registration authority made preliminary report of fee structure for private schools as per directives of the Supreme Court and it would be notified within a week.
He said that all the stakeholders, including parents and private schools, would be taken on board before making any decision. “We will ensure quality education in private schools and reasonable fee structure,” he said.
The DC said that the survey of private schools in other parts of the district would be started soon.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2019