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Private schools fleecing parents | Gulistan-e-Jauhar schools

Private schools fleecing parents: Rules on fee hike flouted
Karachi, Aug 11, 2008: Various private schools continue to fleece parents by charging exorbitant admission fees and annual charges at the beginning of the new academic year.

Moreover, operators of school vans have also raised their charges on the plea that petrol and diesel prices have increased manifold during the last three to four months.

A number of parents complained that although the officials of the Sindh government's directorate of private schools and institutions often claimed that they would take drastic action against those schools found violating schools' registration terms and conditions, their complaints pertaining to exorbitant admission fees and the so-called 'annual charges,' which they had lodged with the directorate officials, had so far remained unheeded.

Referring to the private schools' registration rules and regulations, which clearly state that schools can charge admission fees at the time of giving fresh admissions to students, but the fee must be equivalent to three months' tuition fee of the relevant schools' higher classes i.e. Class VIII in the case of a middle school and Class X in the case of a secondary school, some parents complained that a number of private schools were openly flouting these rules by charging amounts much higher than the three months' tuition fee.

Meanwhile, complaints pertaining to the so-called 'annual charges' being demanded from the managements of different private schools of the city continue to pour into newspaper offices.

A number of parents said that some private schools, which previously used to charge this illegal fee either at the time of half-yearly or annual examinations, were now asking them to pay the annual charges at the beginning of the new academic session.

They said that on the one hand, the private schools were fleecing parents by charging exorbitant admission fees and the annual charges and, on the other, school van charges had also been increased considerably, thus creating immense difficulties for the citizens, especially when prices of all essential commodities had gone beyond their purchasing power.

They urged the provincial education department's directorate of private schools and institutions to take drastic action against the schools, which were openly violating the schools' registration rules and regulations.

They also regretted that although a number of private schools were openly violating the relevant rules and regulations, the provincial directorate of private schools/institutions, had so far not cancelled the registration of any school.

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Education and Literacy Pir Mazharul Haq said that the private schools would not be allowed to charge excessive tuition fees from the students, PPI adds.

He was speaking at a seminar of private schools held here at a local hotel.

He said that the Pakistan People's Party government had always worked for the betterment of the education sector.

The minister said that the government would, however, encourage establishment of educational institutes in the private sector and might hand over buildings of government schools not functioning any more to the private sector for the promotion of education in the province. Dawn

Your Comments
"Pakistan is a nation of shameless and insane people. The one is Mr. Mehhmood Wasti. He has increased the fees in Jauhar campus by 39%. The education standard in the school is just pathetic. The teachers never dare to speak English with the students even in the so called Cambridge section, as they dont know. The School administration is also exploiting the teachers besides parents. They pay the teachers a very low salary and even hire the intermediate pass teachers to teach in their esteemed English Medium school. I strongly feel that such people; who are actually tarnishing the education and increasing the worries of parents; must be punished. Conceivably,Mr. Wasti is also interested in eating Haram without caring for the declining economic condition of poor parents. I believe, he and his wife will carry all the additional amount or wealth to their heavenly abode. They also think that Allah Mian perhaps wont ask them for their such a cruel intention. I just hate these hippo crates and cheaters of the so alleged country Pakistan. Will somebody come for our rescue, or we better present this case for Allah Mian attention. You are a ****** Mr. Wasti."
Name: A parent
City, Country: karachi, Pakistan

"Illegal schools are increasing , and concern checking authorities are earning good amount of taxes. Who suffers " Parents of the students" who pay all the amount to get education for their children. The more the taxes at schools , the more fees will be charged from the students and the more amount parents have to pay. How long this game will continue. Why not areas for schools should be given like area for Masjid, Hospitals etc. Schools are running in garages, kitchen and dark old houses having no play grounds. Do not play with the feelings for the no choice parents. If Cantonment establish their own schools, they might collect more better volume of amount with the respect and dignity"
Name: Mujeeb
City, Country: Karachi - Pakistan

"watch it"
Name: sharafuzzaman
City, Country: karachi, pakistan

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Gulistan-e-Jauhar schools -VS- Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF)
Karachi: Sindh Additional Secretary of Education Taj Muhammad Silro has approached the Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) Executive Officer through letter (No. SO (CPS) /PSMA/08 Dated: August 7, 2008), requesting him to allow the owners of private schools in their jurisdiction reasonable time to relocate.

The CBF issued notices to private schools within its limits (Letter No. CBF-9/Notice/G.Jauhar /Genl/5055 dated: July 19, 2008) with the warning to either quit using residential buildings as school premises or pay a commercial property tax after the promulgation of the recently introduced CBF Building By-Laws, 119 of 2008.

Around 70 private schools were sent notices by the CBF.

The Sindh Education Ministry and Directorate of Private Schools did not intervene when the issue came up earlier this month, right before the academic year started. The cantonment board, however, waited for the private schools to open and as soon as this happened, it put up notices on their walls in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, sources said.

Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) Chairman Sharafuz Zaman said that he did not agree with the contents of the letter as he felt they did not say what would happen to the future of the private schools in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

"It is not that easy to change a school's premises overnight," he said. "That is around 300 private schools and above all, it is a matter of serious concern as the future of around 25,000 students is at stake. The CBF should find a way out acceptable to both the stakeholders."

The issue of a commercial tax on private schools can be resolved according to the law, he maintained. "But setting a deadline for the settlement of dues arising from the status of the commercialization of school premises was a hasty decision."

Gulistan-e-Jauhar is partly administered by the CBF and partly by the City District Government Karachi. There are a total of over 600 schools and surprisingly no public school under the Sindh Education Ministry or CDGK is located in this huge area. The number of private schools within the jurisdiction of CBF is more than 300.

Future of hundreds students at stake
Karachi: The ongoing rift between the private schools' management board and Cantonment Board Faisal (CBF) reached its climax when CBF asked more than seventy schools to close down with immediate effect on Saturday, it was learnt.

The Private Schools Management Association (PSMA) strongly condemned the closure of these schools and the related-offices within the CBF jurisdiction. "A couple of days ago, a meeting between the CBF chief executive and PSMA was held, in which the CBF CE assured us that he will extend maximum cooperation on the dispute of commercialization of school buildings. The process of reconciliation was in progress but all of a sudden, the CBF forcefully imposed a ban on private schools in KDA Scheme 1, causing closure of around seventy private schools and related offices," PSMA chairman Sharaf-uz-Zaman informed.

The PSMA staged a demo outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) against the CBF's decision and demanded that the authorities look into this serious matter that could put the future of several thousand students at stake. The government had already announced that the academic session in Sindh will start on August 5 instead of August 1 and this session will be for 8 months only because government has announced that new academic year will commence from April 1 in 2009. The eight-month session this year will affect students a lot and the load of curricular activities will give them a hard time this year.

After the closure of these private schools, it will further stress the students to complete the course within the reframed duration. According to the new academic year policy, summer vacations will be from June 1 to June 31, while winter vacations will be from December 20 to December 31. All schools, private or public, will complete tuition and examination processes by March to adopt the April 1calendar to start the new academic session. The government took the decision on the April calendar in an inter-provincial education ministers' moot, the thirteenth moot held in Islamabad on May 9, according to an official letter (F-8/1/2008/SSG dated: May 24, 2008).

Another office bearer of the PSMA, Syed Khalid Shah, was contacted to ascertain the facts pertaining to the matter. "There is no government school in the jurisdiction of the CBF and asking the current private schools to either commercialize themselves or face closure is very disappointing. If there was a problem, why did the education authority or the Board of Secondary Education Karachi accredit these schools?" questioned Shah. He further said that the rule 119/2008 came into force from this year in which any new school will not be permitted to open in the CBF jurisdiction. This does not apply to the schools that already exist, Shah added. However, talking about the number of schools that were sealed or closed down, Shah said that he had little knowledge of this. "I don't think any school was shut down today. They asked us verbally to close down, in case the school buildings are not commercialized," revealed Shah.

When tried to contact officials of the CBF but no one was available to comment on the issue.

There are approximately 237 private schools in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area only and over 65,000 children are enrolled in these schools. The number of private schools within the jurisdiction of the CBF is over 300. The CBF collects Rs 7,000 from each school per year, making a total of Rs 2,100,000 from all theseprivate schools. The tax rates levied by the CBF are higher than those that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has levied. Daily Times

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