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|Subject : Private schools defy govt’s order to reduce fee
Private schools have denied the government’ order, issued on Tuesday, to continue previous year’s fee schedule. The education minister and the district coordination officer (DCO) held a dialogue with private school representatives and protesting parents, separately. After meeting with both parties, the district government issued a notification asking all private schools to charge fees as per previous year fee schedule. However, Education Minister Rana Mashhood announced to organise a third party audit of all private schools that have increased their tuition fee in last three years. Rana revealed that a highly reputed charted accountancy firm will be hired for the audit of all private schools.
Mashhood said that government will not allow private schools to increase the fee structure, as this has overburdened the parents. He said that government will also not allow schools to increase fee in next year. He said that the government is also working on a mechanism about how to revert the amount of those parents who had already paid the increased fee. According to minister, district education department is collecting data and records of these schools in order to preview that why and when these schools had increased their fee. If the schools were able to provide proper justification for an increase, no action will be taken against such schools, he added. However, the parents were not satisfied with the decision, as they believed that this action was not justified and blamed the government is securing schools.
While talking to Daily Times, a father of a student studying in one of an elite school told, “No matter, the minister and the DCO heard our problems, but the decision is not according to our demands. We are demanding a strict action against schools who had increased fee up to four times in last three to five years, but government had only stopped the previous increase, which is not as per our demands.” He threatened the government to hold protest again if the action will not be taken against these schools. Meanwhile, the school owners and representatives had denied to continue previous year’s fee structure. Beaconhouse Group Corporate Communication Manager Tabraiz Bukhari told Daily Times that school administration have not received any order in writing yet, therefore, the decision will be made after receiving notification copy.
Talking about increase in fee structure, Tabraiz was of the view that people are blaming on private schools of moneymaking, but no one is thinking about the role of private schools in development of country. The children of all government officials are also being studying in these elite schools, which they are criticising, he added. Tabraiz said the reason behind an increase in fee in is the government every year announced budget in July and impose taxes, therefore, “We have to review our fee structure while keeping in view the increased taxes, inflation rate, increase in gas and electricity tariff.”
Article By :http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/