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January 14, 2015

Punjab government mulls over plan to stop education institutions from charging heavy fees


January 14, 2015

The Punjab government in view of public demand with regard to stopping private educational institutions from fleecing students is seriously working to move a bill in the parliament for regularisation of schools and colleges.
Credible sources told ‘The News’ here on Tuesday that Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif has directed executive directors of educational directorates of their respective districts and divisions of Punjab to make a survey of all private educational institutions and students and submit a list to him. According to sources, private educational institutions would then be divided into A, B and C categories.
With formation of categories, the perturbing problem of claiming huge fees from students by educational institutions would be checked and charges would be appropriate enabling parents to pay them without any problem.
According to sources, at present, a large number of private schools and colleges are functioning in house buildings situated in streets and roads in every nook and corner of the country.
A large number of educational institutions which are of average and below standard level are fleecing students during admission periods in the form of huge fees, which remains beyond the reach of most parents. As a result, parents either admit their children in government institutions or numerous remain without getting admission which spoils their future.
In view of this agonising situation, the Punjab chief minister in order to keep a check and balance in fee structures of private institutions has decided to implement a regularisation policy of schools and colleges. A bill in this regard would be presented by the elected representatives of the Punjab government in the Punjab Assembly for discussion and approval.
Directorate of Education (Rawalpindi District) Director Qazi Zahoor, while commenting over the report, said that serious work is underway by the Punjab government to regularise all

private schools and colleges and dividing them into categories. He said that according to instructions and directions of the chief minister, a list of private institutions is being prepared. It will be submitted to the chief minister after which a bill for regularisation would be presented in the Punjab Assembly for approval. The work on regularisation of institutions and their divisions would be completed by June this year after which the process of dividing institutions would be started.
After enforcement of this rule, the heads of the institutions would not have a free hand to charge heavy amounts from students, he added.
However, the EDO did not discourage the opening of private institutions in residential buildings. He said that it is hard to find land for establishing educational institutions due which people open schools and colleges in residential buildings. However, the motto of establishing institutions should be to provide good education to children instead of utilising them as money-making ventures, he added.

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