ISLAMABAD                   -                  The Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) is considering reducing the fee being charged by private educational institutions after parents demanded a decrease because of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Talking to The Nation, Murtaza Noor said that PEIRA must play its role in reducing the fee as there are no academic activities by the schools.

He said that the schools also do not have to pay utility bills and miscellaneous charges so the financial burden must be reduced on the parents as well.

“Earlier they wanted to collect advance fee of three months now messages are being received of early payment of fees from any mode,” he said.

Rabia Ahmed said that his son is in grade five of a private school and they are insisting to pay fee on early basis. “The current crisis has affected every family from any social background and schools must be asked to reduce fee,” she said.

Rabia Ahmed stated that when business is being affected in entire country some relief must be given to parents as well.

Meanwhile, PEIRA Focal Person ZafarYusfazai informed The Nation that the authority had proposed reducing the fee being collected from the parents by private educational institutions and the decision will be taken in next few days.

Earlier, the government of Punjab announced reducing 20 percent school fee during COVID-19 holidays. It also decided to direct the private schools and colleges to collect the fee on monthly basis.

The focal person also said that the authority in inter-provincial meeting of education ministers had proposed reducing the fee, however, the announcement was delayed because two provinces had shown some reservations on it.

He said that the PEIRA has divided the schools collecting fees in different slabs and the decision after approval will be implemented according to these slabs.

He said that it was likely that the decision of reducing the fee of certain percentage will be implemented on the educational institutions collecting above Rs5,000 per month. He said that educational institutions collecting low fee will be exempted however, schools and colleges charging heavy fee will be directed to reduce the fee.

“It will be difficult to reduce the fee for a school already charging Rs1,000,” he said.

About complaints of advance fee collection by the educational institutions he said that so far no written complaint has been received but PEIRA has given clear directions of collecting the fee on monthly basis.

He also said that PEIRA has also directed private educational institutions for regular payment of salaries to their teachers and staff.

Earlier, PEIRA prevented the educational institutions in the city from collecting the advance fee more than a month.