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Lahore

February 27, 2016

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Private schools barred from fee hike without approval

Law requires registration of schools ; violation will invite penalty from Rs300,000 to Rs4,000,000

LAHORE

Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a legislation restricting the profit-making spree of the private schools, barring them from raising fee without prior approval of the authorities and forcing parents to purchase books, uniforms etc. from particular shops, besides imposing heavy fines on violation and running educational institutions without registration.

Punjab Assembly session chaired by Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan unanimously passed four legislations, including Punjab Private Educational Institutions (Promotion and Regulation) Amendment Bill, The Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan Amendment Bill, Punjab Education Foundation Amendment Bill, and Ali Institute of Education Lahore Amendment Bill.

The opposition members withdrew all the amendments they had tabled, calling the legislation in the public interest.  

The Private Educational Institutions, Promotion and Regulation Bill has barred all private educational institutions from raising all kinds of fee during the 2015-16 academic year from the rate at which it was charged during the academic year 2014-15. If they have already charged enhanced fee during the current year they should refund it within seven days of the passage of the Bill to the students or adjust in the next month’s fee.

The comprehensive legislation also required that no education institution must be run without registration which should be applied with the Registration Authority within 45 days of the passage of this bill. Its violation could invite a penalty ranging from Rs300,000 to Rs4,000,000.

The law requires that the Registration Authority should fix the maximum amount of fee to be charged by the institutions of different categories, and its violation could be liable to have a fine of Rs20,000 per day, and if the violation continued for over one month after the initial penalty, the case shall be sent to the court of first class magistrate who could impose a fine ranging from Rs200,000 to Rs2,000,000.

The law allows private education institutions to raise the fee by five percent with the prior approval by Authority, for which they have to apply at least three months before the start of new academic year stating the reasons for raising the fee. The admission fee or the security fee shall not exceed the monthly tuition fee, and parents will not be required to purchase books, uniforms etc. from a particular shop or provider.

The House also passed a resolution that requires the parliament to regulate by law the matters related to the Hindu marriages. The Speaker later prorogued the session sine die after completion of its total agenda.

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