ISLAMABAD: After the apex court spelt out the jurisdiction of the apex private school regulator in the federal capital, all those schools who had opposed the authority in lower courts, have now started registering with the body and complying with its regulations.
This has been disclosed by the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) Chairman Imtiaz Qureshi on Monday.
Speaking to Daily Express, the chief private school regulator in the federal capital said that large private school chains operating in the federal capital, some of whom had previously taken the Peira to court, have now submitted applications to register with the body.
This, Qureshi said, was a major victory for the body after the Supreme Court had in its verdict definitively defined the rules of the body.
He added that thanks to the verdict, the body was in the process of implementing the top court’s directives of bringing about a 20 per cent reduction in the monthly school fees collected by private schools in the federal capital.
This, he said, will impact the 304,184 students enrolled in the 1,437 private schools operating in the city.
Moreover, Qureshi said that they will be able to enforce the SC’s directives of five per cent annual fee hike in schools apart from regulating the schools which need the express permission of the authority to raise their fees by six to eight per cent.
“Schools cannot cross this ceiling for raising fees,” he added.
Asked about what will happen to the schools who do not adhere to the authority’s directive, he said that such schools will have to face legal action.
Qureshi further said that they had even summoned the owners of some of the private schools for personal hearings where they were urged to adhere to directives issued by the apex court to reduce fees by 20 per cent and to follow the fee hike guidelines outlined by Peira.
Asked about the work undertaken by Peira against unregistered private schools in the city, Qureshi said that they had issued legal notices to some 693 unregistered schools in the city.
Moreover, he said that they have renewed the licences of or registered around 1,000 schools in the city. He said that the body had inspected some 200 new private educational institutions which had been set up in the federal capital.
These institutions, Qureshi said, will be registered if they are found to be complying with the requirements of the body.
He added that the authority had recovered around Rs25 million rupees from defaulting private educational institutions in the city over the past four months.
Furthermore, he said that the authority had received around 1,300 complaints, which were originally lodged on the Prime Minister’s complaint portal. Moreover, Qureshi said that Peira received around 350 complaints directly which they worked to resolve.
With the body lacking the powers to take notice of matters on its own, the body’s chairman urged the public to lodge complaints with the body and vowed that all complaints will be looked into.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2019.