islamabad - The private schools are pressurising the students and parents for submission of summer vacation fee ‘immediately’ in order to retain the enrolment of students in institutions, parents told The Nation on Wednesday.
The academic session after the summer vacation for students began with ‘unwelcoming’ gestures from a number of schools as on the first day they were instructed to pay all pending dues of summer vacations, The Nation learned.
The Private Educational Institutions Regularity Authority (PEIRA), Private Schools Association (PSA) and Parents association are in a long legal battle for controlling the fee structure and non-collection of fee during summer vacations by private institutions.
Earlier, Islamabad High Court (IHC) had banned the collection of any kind of summer vacations (03-months) dues from the parents, later however Supreme Court (SC) suspended the decision and directed the IHC to review the verdict.
Around 2000 private schools are established in the federal capital out which 1200 are registered institutions.
The total number of students enrolled in these institutions is above 350000.
Talking to The Nation, a father Asadullah Khan said that courts and PIERA both have left the parents at the mercy of schools’ administration as they are demanding 3 month fee collectively from the parents.
“I paid Rs13000 to school today as it demanded to submit otherwise they will strike off the name of my child from school,” said Asadullah.
He said there is no clear direction from PEIRA, and parents are confused about the submission of fee to schools since a number of parents don’t know the interpretation of the recent court orders.
Another father, Muhammad Murtaza said that the school administration misbehaved him on the first day the school re-opened and ‘rudely’ asked him to submit the pending summer vacations dues.
“I don’t know what court and PEIRA have decided, but there must be one decision or policy to be followed by parents,” he said.
Another parent, Tanvir Khan said that his child was told by administration that his name will be struck-off from the school if the fee is not paid.
“Such messages to students are creating a negative psychological impact on children in school,” he said.
Following the SC decision of suspending the IHC order, a number of private schools charging fee in thousands of rupees also started collected fines from parents on the three-month pending fee and PEIRA had to issue an advertisement to stop the practice.
The PEIRA order declared the collection of fine on fee a violation of court orders and authority’s directions and restricted the schools owners and administration to collect fine from parents.
It also directed parents to not pay the fine if demanded by any school administration. The schools were also directed to print new fee vouchers excluding the fine.
President Private Schools Association (PSA) Zafran Elahi talking to The Nation said that after the SC decision schools are allowed to collect the fee and different schools have different mode of fee collection.
“Parents have a problem submitting the three-month fee collectively and schools are finding a way acceptable to both sides,” he said.
Zafran Elahi also said that after the issuance of letter from PEIRA, no school is collecting fine from parents; however, fee submission is compulsory.
Director General (DG) PEIRA Hasanat Ahmed Qureshi talking to The Nation said that SC had set aside the IHC decision of not collecting the summer vacations fee.
He also said that PEIRA is trying to give maximum relief to parents in the given circumstances after the court decision and has also intimated Islamabad Capital Authority (ICT) to implement the decision of not collecting fine from parents.