This is in reference to the advertisement published in all the daily newspaper by the private schools association where they have told the “Untold Story”. I felt ashamed on the audacity of the association where they have justified the increase and put blame on government’s failure to provide access to quality education to each child as is required vide Article 25 A of the Constitution. No doubt that the government has failed in its task but this failure cannot be made an excuse by the private schools for earning super-normal profits. If whatever the private schools are claiming is true, then why are they reluctant to open up their financial account for public or government scrutiny? The greed of the private schools is evident from the fact that they are seeking courts interference to circumvent the Competition Commission’s endeavor of investigating the facts on price fixing.

The time has come for the government to take the bull by the horn and unearth the real financial figures and costing methodologies of the private schools. An intelligent debate on the matter can only take place when all the facts and figures are placed on table for verification. Just discarding all the economic factors like CPI, inflation by the private schools are mere unqualified statements until supported with documentary evidence. Falling standard of education is the scarecrow private schools is using to fuel people’s fears. Actually, it is lack of competitiveness and loose accountability that stands to damage educational standards the most. Similarly hiding behind the teacher’s salary is also unjustifiable as most schools just pay one child or maximum two children tuition fee to teachers as pay. The argument of increasing the fee because the rent of the Property is increased by 10% is also flawed. Let us assume the rent of building was Rs 100,000/-; 10% increase means Rs 10,000/-. Say if there are 200 students in the school (which is very conservative estimate) each child share would come out to be Rs 50/- so increasing Rs 50/- per month per child would come out to be 0.01%.

Last, I urge the Government to enforce its decision on the fee increase and meanwhile, investigate the cost structure of private schools to unearth the hidden profit making. Some big political names will come up but I wish Government should put its foot down and take the matter to its logical end. Public wrath is justifiable against greedy private school owners.

U.K. DAR,

Rawalpindi, September 29.