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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

SHC bars private schools from charging parents anything except tuition fee

Judge chided the private schools for exorbitant charges in the name of "extra-curricular activities" and observed that these schools have reduced the imparting of knowledge to a mere business opportunity. Will court interventions solve this problem?

Sindh High Court heard the case regarding the petition on the unreasonable charges in addition to the school fees charged by private schools. The petition argued that private schools charged extra amount from parents in the name of extra-curricular activities.

School manager for Sindh appeared in the court and judge grilled him for letting the schools plunder money from the parents.

Justice Muhammad Mazhar Ali chided the private schools and remarked that these schools have reduced the pursuit of knowledge to a business opportunity.

Read more: Supreme Court Fights Private Schools’ skyrocketing Fee Structures? A suggestion for Parents

“Words putting a teacher and the people involved in the matters of education on a pedestal and making them come off like spiritual guardians of knowledge have been limited to books, the people are now just busy in looting and lining their pockets,” said Justice Sindh High Court (SHC).

Sindh High Court also grilled Director Private Schools, Dr. Mansoob Siddiqui for not implementing the rules properly.

Justice Mazhar asked him if he is aware of what is happening in private schools across the province. He said that they have instructed the schools not to charge even an extra rupee except for tuition fees. He said that the charges taken other than the tuition fees are wrongful.

Hence the court has ordered the private schools not to charge any extra amount except for tuition fees from the parents. It also ordered the concerned authorities and school management to sit down and resolve matters in the light of current orders.

Earlier, in a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has struck down any increase in the fee structures of private schools after January 2017.

The apex court has issued a detailed verdict and explained the reasons which led to the said conclusion. Parents welcomed the verdict which is a major relief to the middle class amidst the economic crisis.

For many parents, it had become difficult to send their children to private schools where the fee is increased as per the wishes of the school owners. In recent years, parents have been protesting that schools were charging them even during the summer vacations. The court had to intervene and termed such a policy of the schools in violation of the law.