ISLAMABAD: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) on Monday took notice of the pressing matter of high fees being charged by many private schools in the country and demanded the government to implement Article 25A of the Constitution of Pakistan, local media reports have informed.
Under Article 25A, all children from the age of five to sixteen are entitled to “free and compulsory education by the state.”
According to a handout issued by the commission, the NCHR has received multiple complaints about the high fees from the parents of the students at private schools, who asserted that the increase in private schools fees almost every year make it difficult for them to pay. The parents protested that the education institutions have turned into businesses and the schools are only worried about collecting money. They added that the schools force them to buy uniforms and books from the school which are sold at a far higher price than the market price.
It was further noted that the issue had been raised at various forums but the parents continue to suffer.
Meanwhile, in a meeting held at the NCHR Head Office in Islamabad, the NHCR Chairman Justice (retd) Ali Nawaz Chowhan criticised the “very high fee” being charged by many private schools in the country and asked the member Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to arrange a consultation programme in this regard.
Calling for education and business to be separated, the chairman directed the member ICT to call all stakeholders, including the Private Education Institutes Regulatory Authority (PEIRA), to discuss the concerns. He also directed the member ICT to arrange a comprehensive consultation for a necessary action.
Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of parents staged a protest demonstration on Sunday against owners of private school for charging outrageous school fees and appealed to the prime minister to take notice of the issue.
Under the banner of Pakistan Parents, the protestors gathered in front of the National Press Club where they held banners and placards and said that in 2016, the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) had framed new rules and capped fees which were not being followed.