Author Topic: Private schools defying KPPSRA rules, collecting summer vacation fees  (Read 336 times)

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Private schools defying KPPSRA rules, collecting summer vacation fees
PESHAWAR:29 August: Defying the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority (KPPSRA)’s rules, majority of the private schools got opened weeks before the end of the officially announced summer vacation to collect fees at least for one of the three-month vacations.

Also, most of the schools have already collected fee for the vacation in violation of the strict directives of KPPSRA.

The private schools owners claim that it was not possible for them to run the institutions without receiving fee for the summer vacations.

The parents were helpless. A number of parents having kids studying in different private schools told The News they had to deposit the fee out of fear that their children may suffer at the hands of the school administration.

A number of schools have also circulated letters among parents asking them to deposit the fee for summer vacations as their case to this effect was under trial in the high court and if the court decided against them they would adjust the fee in other months.

However, after the reopening of the schools before the end of the long summer vacation, the KPPSRA came into action and forced the major chains to keep their institutions closed till September 1, 2019. But by then, classes had been taken for nearly a couple of weeks to give the private schools justification to charge the students for the month of August at least.

Tashfeen Haider, the newly appointed managing director of KPPSRA, could not be reached for his comments despite several attempts. He also didn’t respond to the text message of this correspondent.

His predecessor Sardar Asad Haroon had, however, told this scribe in a telephonic conversation that the parents should cooperate with the KPPSRA and obey its orders. He had said that the parents should not pay the fee come what may.

But the parents have their own reservations. “If we refuse to pay the fee, our kids may face indifferent attitude of the school administration,” said one of the parents.

They were also not sure about the strength of the KPPSRA’s directives as they felt it may be revised or not properly implemented.

The private school owners on the other hand have their own viewpoint. They are critical of the government policies. They said that the “excessive intervention” by the government in the private educational institutions through KPPSRA has badly affected the private sector and is now at the verge of closure.

Talking to The News, provincial president of Private Educational Institutions Management Association (PEIMA) Khwaja Yawar Naseer said the government intervention in the private sector has caused great disappointment among the private school owners. “If this situation persists, I am afraid the private schools could be closed down and it would be a great loss to the province and the Pakhtun nation,” he argued.

He said the private schools were operating in a competitive environment. “The schools have to compete to produce better results and groom the students. In such asituation the undue government restrictions were disturbing our annual planning adversely,” he added.

“The long vacations have disturbed our schedule. The schools had literally closed down in May and would reopen in September. How would the schools be able to cover the four month gap in studies?” he asked.

He said if the government really wanted to give relief to the people it should improve the standard of government schools so that parents don’t send their children to private schools.

He stressed that the KPPSRA should have taken the private sector into confidence before announcing the rules and regulations.

He also criticized the government for increasing tax on the private schools from 12 to 30 percent and reducing the 30 percent rebate in property tax given to private schools by the late KP Governor Lt Gen Fazle Haq to 20 percent.

He said the KPPSRA’s decision about summer vacations fee was strange. “We have not been able to pay salaries to our staff. This decision is not practical,” he stressed.

About the schools that have already charged students for summer vacations, he said they had no other option for running their institutions. “But why has the KPPSRA barred them from collecting the fees,” he questioned.

He said the government was creating a suffocative environment for the private schools. “If the private schools are closed down due to the government policies, not only students would lose the opportunity of getting quality education, but a huge number of educated people, especially women, would be rendered jobless,” he maintained.The news.
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