Karachi schools arbitrarily raise tuition fees
Karachi, Sep 20: A number of schools in the city, particularly those in the private sector, have increased their tuition fees without getting prior permission from the authorities concerned, The News has learnt.
Different private schools, including Happy Palace Grammar School, which has around 12 citywide branches and few Cambridge sections, Metropolitan with four branches, Lady Bird School which has three branches, Falconhouse Grammar with over a dozen branches, Links with few branches in Clifton, and Mama School system with five branches in Soldier Bazaar have all increased their tuition fees by Rs300 to Rs700 on average.
While parents have been forced to shoulder the burden of increased fees, expensive course books and answering copies, along with other back-to-school paraphernalia, no action has been taken against such schools thus far. Most parents learnt of the tuition fee increase after received a notification of payment of August fees. Prior to this, they had paid fees for the holiday season (June and July) as per the previous schedule.
Talking to The News, affected parents lamented that Directorate of Private Institutions Sindh (DPIS) Director Mansoob Siddiqui has not taken any action against these schools yet. They said that it was the prime responsibility of the DPIS to keep check on the schools and their activities, however, Siddiqui is least bothered in this regard.
Meanwhile, The News has learnt that any school can increase tuition fees by 10 per cent after every three years, but this increment is condition to the permission of DPIS.
According to DPIS policy, a committee is responsible to give permission to the schools to raise their tuition fees. However, while the committee exists, it is completely inactive.
The parents further claimed that DPIS had received handsome amounts from these schools for arranging a ceremony in honour of the position holders of Karachi and Hyderabad Board in August. “These schools paid good amount to please DPIS, and as a reward, they also receive shields for their services in education sector and permission to arbitrarily increase fees,” parents further claimed.
They also said that these schools compelled children to buy books from certain book stores and answering copies from the school. The schools are publishing their own copies with a monogram or mark of the school on the cover page, which they claimed were more expensive as compared to copies available in the market, the parents said.
Some books are also not approved from the education department and this violation is also neglected by the DPIS, they said.
Fees can be increased due to inflation
Karachi: Any school can apply to increase its tuition fees, and school managements reserve the right to repeat this exercise each year owing to the rate of inflation, said Directorate of Private Institutions Sindh (DPIS) Director Mansoob Siddiqui.
“They are not bound to wait for three years,” he said. “According to Section(I) II of Rule 6, the fee structure of an institute shall not be interfered with by the registering authority, but the fee shall not be increased during the course of any academic year,” he explained.
Refuting all allegations of being “funded” by private schools, he said that DPIS had used its own funds to arrange programmes. He claimed that the directorate never takes any money from schools to hold functions, but did not comment about the criteria of distributing awards amongst different schools.Your Comments
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Dr Izhar joined SZABIST as its president
Karachi: Dr Izharul Haq has joined Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) as its president. An announcement to this effect was made in a statement by the institution here on Saturday. It said that Dr Izhar brings a rich academic and research experience to SZABIST and to Pakistan.
He had earned his PhD degree in Physics from Cambridge University. His academic career started from the University of London and his last designation was as Dean and Head of Research at New York Institute of Technology. Dr Izhar has published 36 papers in various scientific and research journals of international repute.Your Comments
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Educationists stressed need for systemic transformation
Karachi: Educationists in the city are reacting cautiously to the recent announcement by the government in its Education Policy-2009 about increasing the education budget to 7 per cent of the GDP compared to the current 1.5 per cent.
Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Qaisar welcomed the announcement, saying that it could be a great contribution towards education in the country if it is implemented in its full spirit. “The more we spend on education the better it would be for our education scenario. It depends on whether the money sanctioned for the purpose is used wisely and on education only”, he stressed.
Jinnah University for Women (JUW) Vice-Chancellor Dr Riaz Ahmed Hashmi was very candid about the change. “It is a good announcement and could prove to be a boon for our crumbling education sector. It seems funny to me, however, that our rulers are making such announcements without fixing the different tiers of education properly.
“Our primary education is in tatters. The recent education policy has also envisaged that English will be taught from class one. It is ridiculous. All the educationists and linguists are saying that a child should be taught in his or her mother tongue or the national language. But our political pundits think otherwise,” he said.
Dr Hashmi also pointed out the flaw in the training for the primary teachers. “Unfortunately teachers at this level are mostly incompetent, and they need training before they start working with young minds. There remains a dearth of trained teachers and of individuals who have the right disposition and aptitude for teaching. The primary level is the most important level, as young minds will absorb knowledge and retain it for ever. We have to see if they are getting the right and appropriate knowledge”, he said without mincing his words.
Iqra University Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Dr Ismail Saad said: “It seems very attractive on the surface but it will depend on the capacity of the education managers to utilize the funds judiciously and competently without indulging in corruption. The policy announcements are good but there should be commitment, prudent planning and budgeting in the manner that makes best use of the funds. If all of these things are here the new budget might help otherwise the money will be wasted.”
Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) Vice President Dr Abid Hasnain told The News that the new budgetary increase was ‘revolutionary’. However, he did have some reservations: “It will enhance the literacy rate and might open the gates of a decent and high standard education in Pakistan. Allow me to say that I am not very optimistic that it will happen because our priorities are different. The armed forces devour the largest chunk of our budget and remaining portion is spent on luxury and foreign travel of the rulers. What reaches the education sector is a mere pittance.”
Karachi University (KU) International Relations Department Chairman Dr Moonis Ahmar agreed that the proposal was a good one, but said, “To allocate money is something but the actual use is something entirely different. It depends on how it is used. At this stage, the announcement seems as wishful thinking to me. Our economy has become dependent on the foreign aid. How can we use the funds if it comes to us late and with strings attached?” he mused. The news
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