KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed private schools to not increase tuition fee by more than five per cent.
The verdict was announced by a three-judge larger bench of the SHC comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Ashraf Jehan on pleas filed by parents regarding the increase in school fee.
The bench ruled that an increase of more than five per cent in the tuition fee charged by schools is illegal.
The bench further barred private schools from increasing their tuition fee more than five per cent.
In May, the SHC had imposed the same ban but had later ruled in favour of the private schools.
The court had ruled in favour of private schools by quashing the contentious 5 pc fee cap imposed by the Rules framed by the Education Department, Government of Sindh under the Sindh Private Educational Institutions (Regulation & Control) Ordinance 2001. This law and its rules had been challenged by various private schools in the Sind High Court since 2005.
In its final order dated March 5, 2018, the SHC division bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar had declared that, while the government has the power to regulate schools, Rule 7 (3), which deals with the increase in school fees, was ultra vires Article 18 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Therefore, Rule 7 (3) was “quashed and declared to be of no legal effect.
In April, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) had directed private educational to avoid increasing tuition fees until a consistent policy is developed and administered.
In June, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had suggested nationalisation of all private schools across the country, as the Supreme Court barred private institutions from charging fee for summer vacations.