Query on increasing private schools tuition fee

CS query on tuition fee hike remains unanswered
Karachi, Sep 26: No official reply has been given yet to a letter sent a couple of weeks ago to the education secretary by Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Fazlur Rehman, nor has a satisfactory response been provided for a question raised in the Sindh Assembly by MPA Marvi Rashidi.

Rehman had asked the education secretary to explain the policy under which private schools have been increasing tuition fees frequently. One of the reasons for the lack of response to this letter was said to be the illness of Education Secretary Rizwan Memon. He was in the hospital for a few days and in his absence, other people in the department reportedly did not pay attention to the CS' letter.

The CS had issued the letter on the basis of a complaint submitted at his office. Rehman directed the education department to file a report within a week regarding the increase in school fees, as well as numerous other charges, including late payment and fines, being levied by private schools. He also called for a clarification regarding the role of the Directorate of Private Schools.

Directorate of Private Institutions Sindh (DPIS) Director Mansoob Siddiqui said that he had no power to stop schools from increasing fees frequently. "The law binds us in this regard and we cannot take action against schools. The law, which clearly states that a registering authority cannot interfere with the fee structure of any institute, is the main obstacle," he said. "However, the schools are bound and they cannot increase fees during the course of any academic year."

He said that when, acting on the reports of fee increments, the DPIS raids schools especially in posh areas of the city and warns the administration, instead of getting support from parents, the DPIS staff face stiff resistance from them.

"Parents come to the DPIS office and tell us that the DPIS does not need to take action against these schools if the parents themselves do not have any problems in paying more money to them," Siddiqui said. He, however, did not name any institutions where such incidents had occurred in the past.

Meanwhile, the authorities concerned have also failed to answer a most urgent question raised in the Sindh Assembly, regarding the number of registered and unregistered private institutes. In question no.982, MPA Marvi Rashidi had also asked for the list of registered schools, the list of registration files which are being processed, as well as the list of complaints received during the academic year.

Despite gathering facts and figures the authorities referred the questions to other departments. The education secretary sent it to the DPIS, which sent it to the Executive District Officer (EDO) Education and sought a reply from him.

In his turn, the EDO education forwarded it to his staff, who told the DPIS that since 2005, the provincial government was the authority to register private institutes and secondly, a person who was responsible for compiling this data was working on ‘detailment' at the DPIS.

They said that Khursid Alam was doing the job for the department but was now on detailment. Alam had past records and authorities should approach him in this regard, they added. The news

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LUMHS establishes centre for keyhole surgery
Hyderabad: The vice-chancellor of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Prof Dr Noshad A. Shaikh has said the university has established a centre at a cost of Rs98 million to carry out laparoscopic surgeries and train surgeons in the latest techniques.

The centre for which 65 per cent funds were generated from the university's own resources and the rest were borne by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) would be inaugurated by the HEC chairman Javed Leghari on Saturday.

The centre has not yet been made functional as its outpatient department still needs final touches while operation theatres have been readies for conducting surgeries of gynaecology, paediatrics, urology and general surgeries.

The VC said that master trainers were available in the university to train junior doctors from interior of the province in return for nominal fee. "Such centre doesn't even exist in Karachi," Mr Shaikh claimed.

He said that the doctors who had received training from the UK and Singapore had returned to the university to impart training to their fellow doctors.

He said that it was a state-of-the- art training centre where doctors would learn about laparoscopic surgeries (keyhole surgery) and hands-on training would be conducted with the help of the most sophisticated simulator (dummy patient).

He said that the centre would be sterilised for a week and then it would be opened for patients who would not have to pay much for surgeries.

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Health education top priorities of the government
Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that poverty alleviation, health and education are the top priorities of the government, adding that the education budget was increased by 58 per cent and health allocations by 180 per cent last year.

For poverty alleviation more than 40,000 unemployed youths were provided jobs in government departments on merit and 41,000 men and women were trained in various trades, enabling them to earn their livelihoods, he said.

The chief minister counted government achievements in the three sectors during the last one year, while talking to participants of the 91st batch of the National Management Course at the Chief Minister's House on Friday.

He said the newly inducted youths included 18,000 teachers whose services were hired on a merit basis and in a transparent manner. He said provision of standard education and health facilities would expedite the process of overall development.

Mr Shah said that girls who are the neglected segment of a rural society were being provided a monthly stipend of Rs2,400 to Rs4,000 in the interior parts of Sindh to encourage them to pursue studies. He said the government was laying emphasis on the promotion of quality education, especially at the primary level. Dawn

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Need stressed to promote book reading culture
Karachi: City Naib Nazim Karachi Nasreen Jalil has said three is dire need to promote book culture at all levels, adding nations ignoring education would lag behind in the race of development.

She said books are very good companions of human being.

They leave a lasting impact on their lives, which also reflect their personality. People who love books crease a healthy society, Jalil added.

City Naib Nazim expressed these views while addressing the concluding session of 23rd annual book fair, organized jointly by Bazm-e-Adab Faroog-o-Fun and Farid Publishers.

She felicitated Syed Farid Hussain of Faird Publishers and applauded his endeavours for holding 23rd annual book fair.

She said we should encourage such institutions and people who are striving for promoting of literature and culture.

"We have to pay special heed towards establishing libraries and making them functional", she said.

The book fair was held from 1st Ramadan to 29th Ramazan in which various publishers of the country displayed their books for sale on discounted prices.

Leader treasury benches in City Council Asif Siddiqui, President Karachi Press Club Imtiaz Khan Faran, artist Ayaz Khan, poet Nasir Anjum were also present. The nation

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