ISLAMABAD:06 June:The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has stopped the management of Islamabad Convent School (ICS), H-8/4, from implementing its newly-introduced rules.
The ICS is a semi-autonomous institution and has been running under the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA).
On May 26, a writ petition was filed by Manzoor Ahmed, Inayatullah Khan and Sohaib Ahmed with the bench of Justice M. Azim Khan Afridi through Advocate Riffat Hussain Malik.
The petitioners maintained that in April this year the ICS management ordered about 1,000 students to submit an undertaking on Rs10 stamp paper signed by their parents and authenticated by a notary public. The undertaking contained 11 controversial clauses, said the parents.
Manzoor Ahmed said: “The most controversial was clause 3 which banned parents from attending any meeting regarding the school affairs without the principal’s permission. Clause 11 stated that in case of violation of any of the regulations, the students will be punished and they and their parents would not question or challenge the punishment.
Some of the students submitted the undertaking but others did not. The deadline was May 2. However, on May 4, a circular signed by the principal was displayed on the noticeboard of the school.
In the circular, the principal said: “I can only give you three possible choices to make until Monday, May 6: (1) Pay the readmission fee of your children; (2) The students will be on behavioural probation for the first term of the school year 2012-13 with Rs500 per day fine for the late submission of the undertaking, and (3) Apply for the leaving certificate.”
Inayatullah Khan said throughout the month of May, there had been daily protest by parents at the school. The parents tried to meet the principal to resolve the issue but the security guards did not allow them to enter the building. Within a few days, the school management cancelled the admissions of 72 students, they said.
Sohaib Ahmed said on May 29 the IHC suspended the school’s directive to the students regarding the undertaking. Later, the parents delivered the copies of the court order at the school. However, the parents alleged that the school was still collecting undertaking and fines from the students.
When contacted, an official at the information office of the school, Pervez Daniel, told Dawn that the decision to seek undertaking was taken for the welfare of the students and even after the court decision the school management would not stop any parents from submitting the undertaking willingly. As far as the fine amount is concerned, he said, it would be adjusted in the outstanding dues at the end of the year, he said.
The petitioners’ lawyer Riffat Hussain Malik, while talking to Dawn, said he would file a contempt petition with the court next week. “I will request the court to call the principal in person,” he said.Dawn.