K-P moves to regulate private schools

Assembly passes bill to end monopoly of private sector, stop teachers’ exploitation


Sohail Khattak May 24, 2017
No school will be opened or operated in the province without registration with the authority. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: To end monopoly of private sector in determining fee and stop exploitation of teachers, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday finally passed a law to regulate their functioning in the province.

The assembly passed the much-delayed and much-opposed ‘The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private School Regulatory Authority Bill-2017’ for registration and regulation of private schools in the province.

As per the law, the government has to establish a regulatory authority in the province within 180 days after the commencement of the act.

K-P to establish private schools authority

The regulatory authority would be headed by the minister for elementary and secondary (E&S) education and along with government officials as its members it will have four members from private schools and two representing parents of schoolchildren.

K-P secretary finance, secretary elementary and secondary education, secretary establishment, secretary administration and director E&S will also be members of the authority.

The authority will formulate policy, guiding principles and criteria for the establishment and registration of a school in the private sector and will also determine minimum qualification, training, service and pay structure for teachers.

After much resistance: Government all set to pass private schools regulatory authority bill

It will devise and implement criteria for categorisation of a school to ensure minimum standard of education and facilities in each category. The authority will determine maximum fee to be charged from a student and minimum remuneration payable to a teacher. It will sanction annual increase in fee in excess of up to 10 per cent once in a year.

No school will be opened or operated in the province without registration with the authority and whoever opens or operates a high school, higher secondary school and Intermediate college or an institution of equivalent level in the province without registration with the authority shall be punished with a fine of Rs200,000.

In case of a Montessori, Kindergarten, tuition academy or centre, primary, lower middle and middle schools or an institution of the equivalent level, the imprisonment shall be up to six months period or with a fine of Rs50,000 or both.

The house also passed ‘The K-P Medical Teaching Intuitions Reforms (Amendment) Act-2017’. After the passage of the bill the government got the powers to remove members of board of governors of a medical teaching institution whenever it likes.

Awami National Party parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak criticised the government over the move, saying the PTI had acted against autonomy of teaching hospitals which it gave earlier through the MTI law.

The house also passed ‘The K-P Minerals Sector Governance (Amendment) Bill-2017’, ‘the K-P Health Foundation Bill-2017’ and ‘the K-P Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill-2017’.

Four parliamentary years

Bringing uniformity: NA passes bill to regulate private schools, colleges in capital

The provincial assembly completed its fourth parliamentary year, with Speaker Asad Qaiser reading a report on the performance of the assembly. The speaker proudly announced that the house passed 143 government bills and ordinances in its four-year term.

Earlier, the opposition lashed out at the government for making legislation in haste. Opposition Leader Maulana Lutfur Rahman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Sattar Khan and Sardar Hussain Babak criticised the government over passing the bills in haste.

“The majority of lawmakers don’t even know what the bills are about. They [treasury members] say ‘Yes’, while we, the opposition, sometimes say ‘No’,” said Sattar Khan while criticising the procedure adopted for the legislation. All the three called for a thorough discussion on the bills before putting them for a vote in the house.

 

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