PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has amended the recently promulgated Private School Regularity Authority Bill-2017, allowing the regulatory body to be headed by the secretary elementary and secondary education department.
Under the original bill passed by the provincial assembly, K-P Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education was supposed to head the regulatory body while Secretary Finance, Secretary Establishment, Secretary Administration and director of the elementary and secondary education department were to serve as its members. Besides them, two members nominated by the parents and private schools each would also be included.
However, on the recommendation of its provincial ally, the government on June 17 amended the bill and altered the procedure of appointing private members through nominations. The members will now be elected for a fixed term of three years. Moreover, in the absence of the secretary education the special secretary would head the body.
An official of the education department, who asked not to be named, said that the provincial government, in a recent meeting with private school owners, agreed to exclude some of the proposals from the amended bill.
It was previously proposed that private schools would hire teachers with the consent of the authority and their salaries would also be fixed by them. In the amended bill, however, these conditions were also omitted.
K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Department Adviser Jamalud Din said that the provincial education minister was already burdened with many responsibilities, and could not attend meetings of the authority. That is why, it was decided that the secretary education will head the body, he added.
He said that JI had recommended some suggestions to the government which were valid and subsequently included in the bill.
The adviser said that the government had taken all stakeholders into confidence before making these amendments.
To end monopoly of private sector in determining fee and stop exploitation of teachers, the K-P Assembly in May 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.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2017.
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