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SHC seeks fee structures of private schools.

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed the provincial authorities to submit fee structures of private schools until November 19.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi was hearing a contempt of court application filed by parents of several private schools students seeking implementation of SHC prior order to restrict school management from increasing tuition fees illegally.

The applicants submitted that their children are preparing of the coming annual exams but the managements of different private schools harassing them and demanding for extra tuition and examination illegally and directing the children they will not be allowed to sit in the exams if they failed to pay extra fees.

They stated that a two-member bench had earlier issued a restraining order, directing the private schools managements to not increase tuition fee by more than 5%. However, it was alleged that the management had issued notices to various students for cancellation of their admission in case their parents did not pay excessive fee.

It was argued that the school management's action was a clear and deliberate violation of the court's order. Therefore, contempt of the court's order proceedings may be initiated against those responsible for wilfully and deliberately committing it.

The court sought fees structures from the Director General of private schools in Sindh and directed all private schools to ensure complying with the SHC prior order regarding tuition fees.

On September3, a two-member bench of SHC had ruled that private schools cannot increase tuition fees beyond 5 percent per annum.

The parents of students, currently studying in different private schools, had moved the court against the hike in tuition fee. They had named the provincial education department's secretary, the director of education and others as respondents.

In their pleas, the petitioners said their children were currently studying in different classes at the private educational institutes, where the management had recently increased the tuition fee for different grades all of a sudden. The parents said they were informed through letters about the exorbitant fee increase.

The parents stated that due to the unprecedented hike in the fee, their children will be deprived of their basic right to get high-quality education, thus putting their futures at stake.

It was argued that the raise in fee was in violation of the Sindh Private Educational Institutions (Regulation and Control) Ordinances of 2003 and 2015, which permitted an increase of not more than 5% annually.

The court was pleaded to declare the exorbitant hike in fees beyond 5% as illegal and restrain school managements from taking any action against their children for the purpose of collecting the increased fee.

They also sought the establishment of a monitoring body to scrutinise the increase in fee.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Nov 13, 2018
Words:510
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