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No student to be expelled due to delay in fee payment; Piera warns school management

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23 (WNP): The Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) has warned schools that no student “shall be deprived of his/her constitutional right to education” in the event of late fee payments resulting from the process of recalculation and determination of fees in accordance with a recent Supreme Court judgment.

Following the recommendation of a subcommittee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Peira in an official letter on Monday informed the principals of all Islamabad-based private schools that the current fees being charged stand frozen at the rate prevailing in January 2017.

The letter stated: “In pursuance to detailed judgment of Honorable Supreme Court dated 13-09-2019, passed in private schools fees determination case, all private educational institutions (private schools, colleges) offering education in any manner up to intermediate or ‘A’ level or equivalent level are herby informed that current fees being charged with stand frozen at the rates of prevailing in January, 2017 till the finalisation of recalculation process.”

Peira also directed schools to submit “grade-wise base fees of January, 2017 till 27-09-2019 positively to enable this authority to accordingly recalculate/determine prevailing grade wise base fees in accordance with the judgment.”

Peira added that no private educational institution “shall receive amount reduced under order of Supreme Court in arrears under any circumstances.”

After the SC judgment, Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mehmood said the government would ensure the court’s orders were implemented.

No student shall be deprived of right to education in event of late payment resulting from recalculation of fees, schools told in letter

A subcommittee of the standing committee on education, headed by MNA Ali Nawaz Awan, in its meeting a few days ago directed Peira to implement the SC’s orders and write to schools asking them not to take adverse action against students in the event that their parents do not submit fees during the process of recalculation.

In a detailed judgment issued recently, the SC decided that private schools would charge the same fees as in January 2017.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who authored the judgment, also expressed concerns over reports that schools have raised fees excessively since 2017.

Speaking to media Awan said Peira’s letters were a positive development and added that the subcommittee would ensure the court judgement is properly implemented.

He said Peira would submit a compliance report at the next subcommittee meeting.

More than 250,000 students are enrolled in private schools in Islamabad. While most of these schools charge low fees, about two dozen are upscale institutions that charge high fees.

Private School Association Information Secretary Abdul Waheed said schools will seek interpretation of the letter in question from the Islamabad High Court, where a case related to Peira is being heard.

He said schools will check whether Peira, whose rules were suspended by the high court last year, could write such a letter.

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