LAHORE - Representative bodies of elite private schools yesterday refused to meet education department officials and also announced keep the schools closed at least for two days.

“The government is not accepting our demands and as protest we shall close all private schools across the province on Tuesday and Wednesday”, said Kashif Mirza, an office bearer of All Pakistan Private Schools and Management School Association in a press statement.

He said that schools’ association was not ready to hold dialogue with any official of the education department except the Punjab chief minister. Mirza alleged that the newly enacted law was destroying the education system and the association will continue protest till the acceptance of their demands.

On the other hand, after a dialogue with the Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, a representative of the private schools association, Mr Adeeb Javedani announced that 97 percent private schools excluding the three per cent elite schools will remain open on Tuesday.

Talking to The Nation, the Chairperson of All Pakistan Private Schools and Management Association Adeeb Javedani said that owners of three per cent elite class schools were putting pressure on the organization to close the schools instead of holding dialogue with government.

“But in the larger interest of the students and in the wake of ongoing exams in most of the B and C category schools, the organization has decided to open the schools on 9th and 10th March only” he said adding the decision would be reverted in case the government did not accept their demands.

Also, Punjab Education Minister claimed that representatives of 97 percent schools have rejected call of owners of the elite private schools to close the schools on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He said that he had assured Mr Adeeb Javedani that he will recommend to the Punjab Chief Minister to exempt the schools charging less than Rs 5000 fees per students from application of the new legislation.

He said these schools may be allowed to increase the fee by five per cent The minister said that government will not allow any school to charge huge fees from the parents.

The minister has also constituted a 10-member committee under the supervision of Adeeb Javedani to recommend amendments to the present law.