A Peshawar High Court bench has banned new private schools in the province. It stated that the provincial government should not accept any application to open a new private institute until private school monitoring authorities articulate a proper plan of the prerequisites for opening new schools.
The bench also summoned the concerned authorities to formulate a solid plan to keep a check on schools’ premises, fees, and management. It directed that all privately-owned educational institutions have to follow equivalent policies from now on.
It also showed concern over those schools that charge more than 50% tuition fee during vacation and increase the fees every year. “The annual increase as made is totally unjustified because there is no raw material used. The annual increase under no circumstances should be more than three percent per annum.”
It is high time to check the overall activities of the private schools/ institutions and for that matter we are of the view to put complete ban on any fresh/ new opening of the school right from playgroup/ primary level to the intermediate level, unless and until the regulatory authority so constituted formulated the policy, law and regulations to the extent.
“The building in which the school is to be operational must have area of playground, assembly premises/ hall, furniture, libraries, washrooms, water facilities, laboratory; and tuition fee, annual fee, canteen, etc. its management and charges,” asserted the bench.
It further remarked, “The regulatory authority shall formulate the uniform policy regarding the fee including annual and tuition fee and charging extra then that shall be banned completely.”
The bench directed the private schools’ watchdog to define appropriate rules, regarding the textbooks, syllabus, school-uniform, teachers’ qualification and salary, the strength of students, and co-curricular activities offered, for the privately owned schools.
The bench also took notice of private schools that are built in congested localities and do not offer playgrounds and wider classrooms to the students.
“The continuation of schools in the residential premises is highly deplorable and as such the regulatory authority and the BISEs are advice to chalk out the program for shifting the same to non-residential side,” the court said.
The bench summoned the authorities to define and submit the policy report on these matters within three months.
The court noticed that more than 80% of the private schools lack basic facilities adding, “Indeed, Courts could neither assume the role of policy maker nor that of law maker, but it is very unfortunate that the authorities/ regulatory authorities so constituted before 2001 and till date are not performing their duties up to the mark rather there is a criminal negligence on their part, which resulted in establishing schools right from playgroup/ primary level to the university level, without having any proper buildings other facilities including water supply, edibles, playgrounds, assembly halls, etc.”
The court showed great concern over the irregularities in the employment of teachers and staff in private institutes. It said that the system in these private schools isn’t regularized at all.
“No one is there to check their standard as especially below matriculate teachers are engaged,” it remarked.