PESHAWAR: As private schools kept their doors shut for a second successive day on Tuesday, the government remains adamant that it will regulate private schools in the province.
However, he insisted that they were ready to listen to their genuine demands.
In a video message, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Atif Khan said that they will never allow a monopoly of private school associations and owners to reign and will keep a check on their fees structure, salaries given to teachers, textbooks taught and general standard of education.
He went on to say that private school associations and owners did not want any interference in their fee structure and teachers salary and added that PSRA act aims to protect the rights of parents and their children.
Moreover, Atif claimed that private schools wanted to teach children from specially designed books while rejecting all government check over them, which was unacceptable for them.
The education minister further claimed that they had taken all stakeholders in to confidence before the forming the Private School Regularity Authority (PSRA) and that owners of four private schools have been elected into the authority.
“We are ready to sit with the private school’s owners and representatives and listen to their genuine demands and recommendations, but we will never step back from decisions which have been taken in favour of parents and their children,” the education minister said.
Private schools across the province, however, kept their gates shut for a second day on Tuesday to protest against the PSRA and the government’s decision to cap monthly fees and condition charging fees for summer vacations.
Talking to the media, Private Schools Associations (PSA) President Yawar Naseer said that the PSRA had barred private schools from charging students fees for summer vacations.
He reiterated that most of the schools operate in rented premises and the rent comes due every month. Moreover, they have to pay the salary of teachers during the vacation months.
“It is impossible for private schools owner to run their schools under these conditions and we will be compelled to close the schools,” Naseer said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2018.