LAHORE - A registration authority has been constituted to look into matters of private schools and to address the parents’ complaints about increase in school fee.

Consisting of five members, including DCO, EDO, MDO, one representative from private schools and one from Parents’ Association, the authority has been initially established at the Lahore district level, and will be expanded across Punjab.

Under Punjab Private Educational Institutions Ordinance 2015, the registration of every private school is compulsory. Section 3 (1) of the Ordinance says: “An In-charge shall, before the commencement of business by the institution, register the institution with the Registering Authority.”

Section 2 says: “If an institution is not registered, the In-charge of the school shall apply for the registration of the branch within 45 days and the registering authority will decide the application within 60 days from the date of filing the application.”

Section 3 (2) says: “Any private branch may continue to function without registration until the application of the registration is decided.” The authority has also been given a mandate to check the fee structure of the private schools and holds the power to take action against any school if increased the fee without solid ground. The private schools are not allowed to increase fee without permission of the Registering authority.

The authority may impose at least Rs20,000 fine on any school/institution per day if it failed to comply. If a school/institution fails to reply within 30 days, the case of that school/institution will be referred to the local magistrate who may fine which may extend to Rs2 million.

Sheeba Qaisar, the vice president of Parents’ Association, has appreciated the development and said it would help the parents to address their issues regarding the children education.