Private schools push for govt funds

Voice concerns about impact of stringent policies on small educational institutions

Our Correspondent May 16, 2024
Picture shows students in a classroom at a school operated by The Citizens Foundation in Badin district of Sindh.—Photo courtesty: TCF


The All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) has called for ‘social welfare recognition’ for educational institutions charging fees below Rs5,000 per month.

The demand, among others, echoed strongly during a recent meeting of the APPSMA. Emphasising the need to address the educational emergency, leaders from APPSMA advocated for specific measures to facilitate access to education and combat societal challenges affecting students.

Association leaders put forward a proposal for the allocation of funds to accommodate the admission of 27 million out-of-school children. Additionally, they proposed the installation of solar panels at low-fee schools, allowing for easy instalment payments to enhance energy efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Special support programmes in private educational institutions were also recommended, aiming to create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.

The rising concern about drug use among male and female students prompted the suggestion to establish a dedicated task force with district administration support. This task force would focus on implementing strategies to curb the proliferation of drugs and safeguard students' well-being within educational settings.

Another critical aspect highlighted during the meeting was the importance of providing technical education opportunities to children, aligning with broader efforts to equip the youth with practical skills and prepare them for diverse career paths.

APPSMA North Punjab President Abrar Ahmad Khan expressed appreciation for the government's declaration of an educational emergency nationwide. However, he raised concerns about the impact of stringent government policies on small educational institutions, noting that excessive taxes and regulatory measures have placed these institutions at risk.

Khan further emphasised the urgency of revising education policies in collaboration with all stakeholders. He highlighted Pakistan's ranking at 136th place in global educational rankings, stressing the need for comprehensive reforms and increased budgetary allocation to education.

According to him, allocating four per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the upcoming budget would align with international standards and support the country's efforts to improve its educational landscape.

The meeting participants, including figures such as Muhammad Furqan Chaudhry, Colonel Rtd Fawad Hanif, Abrar Ahmed Advocate, and other prominent leaders from the education sector, unanimously welcomed the government's commitment to addressing the educational crisis. They urged concrete steps in the upcoming budget to bolster private educational institutions and enhance educational outcomes nationwide.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2024.


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