ISLAMABAD: While all public sector educational institutes in the capital were having normal school days, a number of private schools and colleges gave students the day off on anniversary of the Army Public School massacre.
Sources said that Prime Minister’s Office had informally directed the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to commemorate the day to pay tribute to the martyred students.
Private Educational Institutes Regulatory Authority (Peira), which regulates private schools and colleges in the capital, expressed complete ignorance of the development.
Roots Schools System PRO Abid Younas said the government had announced a holiday late on Tuesday night, and they informed parents and children about the development accordingly.
He could not answer when told no such announcement was made for Islamabad.
Private Schools Network President Afzal Babar said most “schools were open and only elite educational institutes were acting without authority”, adding that the “elite institutes never pay heed to the Peira’s directions.”
CADD Secretary, Khalid Hanif expressed ignorance about the decision of private schools and said he was not aware of any such step.
On November 9, some private schools announced holiday for Iqbal Day, despite a govt announcement that it would be a working day.
Babar said that the CADD was presently unable to do anything to address this.
A new policy for the regularisation of private schools is being prepared at CADD, with the third draft recently being distributed among higher end schools for their input.
“After holding meeting with the owners of these schools, the new draft with amendments to the old ordinance will be completed,” said Joint Secretary Junaid Akhlaq, who was previously acting head of Peira.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2015.