Parents protest against private school administration

May 18(The News): The parents of children studying at a private school protested in the school premises for about two hours against the attitude of the administrator, who according to them, created panic and fear among the students of class VI giving annual examinations. Upon interrogation, it was revealed that the school administrator, Abid Valika entered the classroom and snatched exam papers from students saying that they had not paid the advance fees for the summer vacations. Several students began to cry. However, after two hours of 'peaceful' protests by the parents, the copies were returned to the students. Not only was the incident embarrassing, many were so upset, they forgot what they had learnt.

A source also said that the proprietor of the school after completing his education abroad, returned home to open up a school with the sole aim of commercialising the institution.

Many parents complained that if a student failed to submit fees on time then the administration charged Rs50 every day as late fee, which increased with every passing day.

However, the principal apologised to the parents for the incident. The parents said that everyone knew that the city was disturbed for three days due to the May 12 carnage. Hence most of them were unable to pay the fees. They also said that due to the prevailing crisis even the date for payment of utility bills was extended but the school administration didn't bother to do so. Instead, they mentally tortured these students by seizing their examination copies from them.

The parents in a written letter to newspaper offices requested the concerned authorities to investigate into the matter and take action against the administration for violating the rules of the government. It must be mentioned here that a notification was issued from the provincial education department, Government of Sindh that schools will not collect fees for two months summer vacation. But private schools have not complied with these orders. Sources say that private schools have issued internal memos instead; stating that any student who fails to submit the advance fees will be barred from taking exams or their results will be withheld.

The Secretary Education, Sabhago Jatoi, however, said that after receiving written complaints from parents, the department will take immediate action against such schools. This could, very possibly, result in suspension of registration of the school under the rules, he added.

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