LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered the Punjab government to ensure presentation of a bill in provincial assembly to regulate the fee structure of the private schools.

Justice Shahid Jamil passed the order while hearing a petition challenging heavy fee of private schools in Punjab. The private schools are mushrooming in the province as most of the well-to-do prefer to send their children to such institutions.  People generally feel that the government-run educational institutions lack necessary facilities, because of which the children feel uncomfortable there.

Exploiting this situation, the private educational institutions raise their fees quite frequently. The government, so far, has no check on these institutions and they are free to have their own fee structure as well as syllabi.

Many say that private educational institutions are like a no-go area for the average income groups. At the outset of the Wednesday hearing, a law officer of the Punjab government gave an undertaking in writing on behalf of secretary school education that a bill in this regard would be presented in Punjab Assembly.

The law officer also told the judge that legislation had been finalized and a bill to this effect would be presented before the assembly in its next session.

After this assurance, the judge disposed of the petition and directed the Punjab government to ensure presentation of bill to make law over the fee structure of private schools.

A lawyer-petitioner Sheraz Zaka had filed the petition submitting that there was no law to deal with the fee structure of the private schools.

He said private schools were "looting" the public. The petitioner said the owners of the schools increased the fees at times even twice a year and no authority ever took any notice thereof.

He said the education at private schools had become unaffordable for commoners due to the government’s mismanagement.