Monday September 20, 2021

SC hints at asking govt to nationalise private schools

June 29, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday hinted at issuing direction to the government to nationalise all the private schools across the country. The apex court restrained the private schools from charging fees during summer breaks and directed for issuing a public notice in Urdu and English dailies of the country.

The chief justice observed that state under Article 25-A of the Constitution is duty bound to impart education to the children free of cost. The CJP was hearing an appeal filed by various private schools against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government’s policy binding the educational institutions to charge 50 percent fee during summer vacation. He said that currently more students are enrolled in private institutions than in government schools. Article 25-A of the Constitution relates to right to education reads: the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5 to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law.

The chief justice further said that a poor man’s child cannot afford to study in a private institution due to the massive fees, adding that it’s government’s inefficiency that it could not ensure free education to all the children. He said that parents would be happy for not paying school fee in the summer break, and would have spent it on the leisure of their families.

During the course of hearing, the chief justice hinted at nationalisation of all private schools across the country. The chief justice said that there is no bar on nationalization hence, “why we should not issue directives to the government to take over all the private schools.”

The chief justice said that the previous governments did not give preference to the country’s education sector. He said that they have already formed a commission for the enforcement of Article 25A of the Constitution.

Earlier, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had rejected a petition of private schools. Now, they have approached the apex court. However, the bench has refused to give interim relief to private schools.

The chief justice said that they cannot grant relief to the management of private schools without hearing the viewpoint of parents. Later the court adjourned the hearing for July 12 after giving direction for issuing public notice on the matter in Urdu and English dailies.