Islamabad - The low-cost private schools have appealed to the government to revise the notification of fee reversal, warning the decision will lead to the closure of schools and government will not be able to accommodate thousands of students enrolled in them.

The representatives of low-cost private schools functional in Islamabad Capital Territory addressing a press conference at the National Press Club on Friday said the government is punishing the schools of all categories just because of one elite school system (Headstart School System) that increased the fees exorbitantly in September.

President of Private Schools Network Afzal Babar explained that there are four categories of private schools based on fee structures but the government has imposed the decision of reversing the fees at the level of 2014 for all that is unfair.

In 2006 the Private Schools Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) had categorised private schools in four categories, i.e 1) those which charge from 0 to Rs500 fee, 2) that charge Rs500 to Rs1000, 3) Rs1000 to Rs2000 and 4) Rs2000 to onwards.

Babar said the regulator put no limits on fees charged by the elite schools and gave them free hand. Such elite schools will be around 50 in ICT but the low-cost schools that charge up to Rs2000 are about 90 per cent. Zufran Ilahi of Private Schools Association said the categories were formulated in 2006 when the rate of inflation was different. He suggested to revise the categories.

Babar suggested that PEIRA should withdraw the notification of freezing the fee raise and with parents and representatives of private schools find an amicable solution for all the stakeholders.

He maintained poor parents who want quality education for their children in low cost have no issues with these schools while the issue of fee hike is merely an issue of a few elite families.

He said the decision of prime minister is a political one made in haste as educational matters could not be decided in such a way. “If the low-cost private schools are closed due to rising input costs, the government would not be in a position to accommodate thousands of students studying in these schools,” he added.