ISLAMABAD – Frequent raise in the tuition fee by private schools in the Federal Capital continues to haunt the parents.

It has become a nightmare for the parents as the private schools revise the fee structure off and on without caring for their financial problems. Many private schools are operating in small houses in residential areas without fulfilling the criteria of having sufficient rooms, an equipped laboratory, a library and playgrounds for the students.

The government schools are unable to provide quality education and accommodate more students, leaving no option for the parents but to go for private institutions to educate their children and pay hefty fees.

Amjad Hussain, father of a student, studying in a known private school, said the abrupt raise in fee was a nightmare for the parents.

The school owners do not even think of the parents’ problems, whose budget is greatly disturbed by the sudden fee rise, he added. The private schools charge high annual promotion fees along with other charges, including annual charges, examination, sports, medical, etc, putting extra burden on the people belonging to the middle class.

“The administration of these schools after etudent studying in a leading private school, said, “The private schools are acting like money minting machines. They extort money in the name of funds, making education as the most profitable business.” She said the private schools were extracting money from them on one pretext or the other. Extra funds are collected from the students

on several occasions, which are very hard for their parents to manage, who hardly bear fee expenses, she added.

“We never know why they increase the fee every month without any justification and check from the authoritis,” she said. Public schools in the Islamabad Caital Territory (ICT) are providing inexpensive education but they lack capacity to enroll more children and give quality education, she added.

A senior official of a leading private school, on the condition of anonymity, said the students of private schools were winning laurels at national and international level and not those of the public ones.

“We are providing unmatchable services to the people in terms of quality education and good atmosphere according to the fee charged.

No one can deny the remarkable role of private institutions in the nation building process”, the official claimed. She said the leading private schools paid taxes regularly and also provided quality education services to the people.

FDE’s Senior Director Tariq Masood said the government was taking special initiatives to enhance the standard of education in the Capital by bridging the gap between private and public schools.

The plans are on the cards to realize the dream of a unified education system in the ICT so that the students can get same opportunities without any discrimination, he added.

He said the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) was handling the affairs of more than 100,000 students and thousands of teachers, besides its own staff. However, setting up a separate directorate for the college sector would lessen its burden and improve efficiency of the educational institutions.

According to the National Education Policy approved by the government last year, the private schools are to be encouraged to offer admission and education services to 10 per cent needy but meritorious students free of charge, which on the contrary do not go for free education.       

Chairman Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) Atif Kiyani said after the passage of its bill from both the houses of Parliament, the authority had now powers to serve notices to institutions to register with it in case of their refusal for the same.

The bill requires the authority to come up with a policy to determine the “rate of fee being charged by the institutions, qualification of the teaching staff, their terms and conditions of service including salaries and mode of payment of their salaries”, he said.

He said the PEIRA would ensure that the quality of education, facilities and salaries offered by schools matched the fees charged from students and ensure uniformity in the education standards of private schools.