The battle between the Supreme Court (SC) and private schools of Pakistan continues. Many schools, despite SC’s order to private schools to reduce their monthly fee by twenty percent, decided to disregard the order. Such maneuvers were of course not going to go unnoticed, especially with some schools resorting to sending letters to the parents of the children asking them about their salaries and the number of vacations they take per year. This is an intrusion into the personal life of the parents and a contempt of court at the same time for defying the order of the highest court in the country.

The representatives of the schools in court offered an apology on their behalf, mentioning that it would not happen again, which has been rejected by the three-member bench heading the case. They rightly pointed out that lack of accountability that private schools face. In the last couple of months, ever since the order, students across the country have been complaining of bad behaviour from the school administration. This is bound to affect the growth of the children. Many schools now make students sit in dark classrooms and teachers have resorted to passive aggressiveness with the students due to salary cuts.

At this point, there is a need to reconsider the order because schools have found several creative ways to dodge the order. The schools need to be brought on board to have a detailed analysis of their expenditure and costs. This will allow both parties to come up with a feasible plan that will help sustain schools, and will also take into account the demands of the parents. The private education sector ideally should be left to its own devices, where they set their own fee structures and students can choose freely between the different offerings. Being private economic enterprises, they have the right to be as excessively expensive as they want. However, that stage has passed; now that the state has intervened, these enterprises need to follow the law.

Those schools which have disregarded the order and are pestering children and their parents instead need to be reminded of the authority that the state exercises. Education is a basic need and those who use this fact to their advantage and threaten parents should be made an example of. School administrations should be an example of adherence to law because they are also setting the precedent for the students they teach.