THE late 1970s and the early 1980s saw the emergence of private schools in our country. These schools were founded by some businessmen and were established on the basis of profit maximisation. These individuals were encouraged by the deteriorating standard of government schools. Their objective was to establish such schools where quality education would be provided and they would also be a great source of revenue generation.

These people had no intention of increasing the standard of education or improving the literacy rate of the country. They were mere businessmen, seeking for an opportunity to make money and profits. These businessmen, over the years, have formed a group which can undoubtedly be called ‘the private school mafia.’

The opening of private schools has created a great divide in our society. The standard of government schools has deteriorated to such an extent that one cannot even imagine of sending one’s children for studies.

The private schools, on the other hand, are so expensive that a common man cannot afford to enroll his child into these schools. The private schools claim to provide good-quality education. However, over the past few years all these tall claims by the owners of these private schools have proved wrong.

This is because the owners of these schools know that the lower class can’t afford these schools, and most of the middle and upper class will have no choice but to go for the private schools.

Therefore, these schools have formed an oligopoly, which exploits consumers (students) by charging higher fee and not providing the desired quality of education. I have seen numerous examples of private schools where teachers can’t even speak a single sentence of English properly, especially at the primary level. Moreover students are treated more as customers than pupils. In one incident, three students beat their PE teacher in one of the most renowned private schools of the country.

No action was taken against them as the principal claimed that their expulsion could be a loss of revenue for the school.

Education has become a product, the teachers have become salespersons and the students are customers. Moreover, studying in private schools has become more of a status symbol. In the beginning, when these schools were established, people belonging to educated families used to admit their children to these schools. However, nowadays it is observed that most of the children who study in these schools belong to families of businessmen, landlords and the social elite, who boast about themselves studying in these schools and look down upon government school students, despite the fact that they might totally flunk in their academic life.

It is high time that the government focused on allocating a higher amount of budget to education, reduce their useless overspending on defence. The army should strive to compete with the rest of the world in terms of education which can reap healthy long-term benefits. Moreover, some strict measures must also be taken to reduce this unfair exploitation done by the private schools.

DANISH HASAN Civil Services Academy (DMG Campus) Lahore

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