The civil society including lawyers, parents and politicians here Wednesday strongly deplored the strike of private schools and colleges in the province and demanded implementation of Peshawar High Court’s decision in letter and spirit. Endorsing Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision, they said private schools were sucking blood of people in the name of quality education and made education as a business by charging parents heavily, which can’t be tolerated anymore and demanded strict action against violators of the court orders.
On Tuesday, Peshawar High Court has directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority (KPPSRA) to takeover administration of private schools and colleges and take hold of their accounts if they went on strike against implementation of the court decision restraining them from charging high fees from students. The Court ordered Managing Director KPPSRA to takeover the private educational institutions and freeze their bank accounts if they resort to strike against the court’s decision and sought a report on the issue.
Former Advocate General KP, Muhammad Esa Khan advocate told APP that PHC’s decision was inclusive and clear and now KP Government, District Governments, Police and KPPSRA was bound to implement the court order in letter and spirit that had restrained the private educational institutions from charging high and extra fees from students. “Private schools cannot be left unbridled and unchecked,” he said, adding high tuition, promotional and transport fees during summer vacations by private schools had increased financial problems of parents besides their mental agony that can’t be accepted.
“If private schools association has any problems should raised it before court rather giving unnecessary calls for strikes and agitations,” he said, adding strikes was no solution of problems rather it would complicate the situation. “Under Article 25-A of the Constitution, right to free and compulsory education to students aged 5 to 16 was the responsibility of state and no student can be deprive of this fundamental right,” the noted lawyer maintained. “Certainly unprecedented increase in tuition, transport and other education services fee was a clear violation of the constitution and court orders and government can’t allow such unlawful practice now.”
“What is the justification of annual promotional fee charged by private schools from students upon promotion to higher grade,” he questioned. “The precious time of students was being wasted due to extended strikes and agitation by private schools and who will be responsible if studies days of students were not completed.” Esa Khan said unfortunately education was made a business in the country and all those elements involved in looting of people on name of quality education should be dealt with iron hands. Former PPP KP President and veteran politician, Rahimdad Khan has also deplored the strike of private schools and termed it irrational and totally unjustified. He said presently around 30,000 registered and unregistered private educational institutions are working in KP and its extended strikes would make very negative effects on studies and performance of students. “I demand owners of private educational institutes to return money to students whose studies days were wasted due to their unjustified strike,” he maintained.
Rahimdad Khan said PTI Government has habit of taking decision in haste and it would have been better if KPPSRA has taken reduction of fees related decision after consultation with all stakeholders. He said widespread protest demonstrations were taken out against private schools and colleges in Peshawar, Charsadda and Mardan districts where people deplored the strike and high fees. Khan said the private schools and colleges should stop using education sector for their business gains and looting public in the name of quality education. He said private schools were earning millions of rupees annually and can afford to pay monthly salaries to teachers and other utility bills.—APP