Islamabad:Many of the private schools operating in the federal capital still have not provided 20 per cent discount in the fee charges for the months of April and May in wake of closure of schools due to third wave of COVID-19, as per clear the directives of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) and the relevant ministry.
The decision of 20 percent reduction in the fee of private educational institutions charging fee above Rs8000 was announced by the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood in response to the demand of the parents facing economic hardships and notified on May 3.The schools who charged monthly or bimonthly fee were supposed to adjust the 20 percent reduction in the fee charges of the month of June and onward however only few schools notified properly and complied with the orders in letter and spirit by providing discount.
“The school management was supposed to notify and inform parents about the fee reduction orders and send the revised fee challan to them at the start of the month of June adjusting the discount for the previous two months (April-May) but they remained silent,” Saqib Ali, a parent of three children said.
“The schools management gave discount of only five to ten per cent to those parents of the students who insisted again and again to send the revised fee after adjusting the discount,” he said while talking to this agency.
Shaista Amin, a parent of two kids studying in the top notch school in F-7, said, No one conveyed us about the discounts being offered from the school management but I asked them for discount like a beggar and they only reduced Rs10,00 out of Rs16,300 after a long argument, saying “we are not fool to give you discount as per PEIRA directive as we have provided you discount at the time of admission.”
The head of the school system is a renowned educationist, influencer and contributing largely to the cause of providing quality education to millions of children, how could he is so insensitive and unaware of the economic hardships of the parents caused by the unusual circumstances during COVID-19.
“My son was enrolled in one of the leading private school of federal capital at the time before the first wave of COVID-19 and he studied mostly digitally but the school did not offer any respite to us,” Irum Shaheen, a mother said.
She said how anyone could compare the digital classroom to the physical one when teacher of my child was throughout taking online class from her home not from school and only attended the school occasionally for interacting with the Headmistress.
“We as a parents sacrificed the most by assisting our children in online classes, buying gadgets, managing internet availability, picking up their handouts from schools etc. but still we are the sufferers,” she added.
Aslam Butt, a father of two school going children said, It is difficult to bear education expenses of the children during the prevailing price hike situation in the country.
The expenditures of physical classrooms cannot be compared with the digital ones at all. “I have been paying Rs17,000 per month for a two-hour virtual class of my each child with no utilization of schools resources at all. The schools administrations must implement the decision of fee waiver in true sense to give relief to the parents like us,” he added.
He demanded of the PEIRA to introduce some mechanism through which the parents can lodge complaint against the schools not complying fully with the orders.