Additional charges: Schools continue to charge security fee

Published: April 8, 2015
Despite CADD warnings, private schools continue to charge students for security measures. STOCK IMAGE

Despite CADD warnings, private schools continue to charge students for security measures. STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: Private schools and colleges in the federal capital are still charging students hefty security fees despite several warnings issued by the Capital Administration and Development Division.

Ever since the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December, private educational institutes began taking measures on the directives of CADD and beefed up their security.

CADD’s Private Educational Institutes Regulatory Authority (Peira) is a regulator for over a thousand private education institutes in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

After directives to tighten security of the private institutes were issued, security measures including the installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of additional security guards, erection of walls and several other steps were taken.

Besides, CADD also issued strict orders not to charge students to avoid financially burdening the parents or guardians.

However, the situation is the other way around, as several private schools continue to charge students for security measures.

Interestingly, some of the fee slips carry details of security fee or safety charges, while some have included the amounts in other charges.

“I have to submit Rs 1,400, as security fee for my son school in H-8,” said Abdullah Shah, a government employee while showing fee slips for May and June.

He said private institutes are already charging hefty tuition, lab and other fees, and extra charges in the name of security were an additional burden which he believed were already within the responsibility of the schools.

Earlier this year, CADD Minister of State Usman Ibrahim issued warnings to schools which were not complying with the orders barring security charges.

Raja Nadeem, who works in a private firm, said he has two sons in a private school in Sector I-8. He said their fee slips carry ‘other charges’ of Rs 400 and Rs 700, the higher amount being attached to the older boy’s fee slip.

Peira, established in 2013, has almost been dysfunctional since its inception. It was established through an act of parliament in 2013 with an aim to register, regulate and implement uniform policies for private educational institutes in the capital, but there has not even been a single permanent chairperson, as acting heads had been leading the body. Recently, a joint secretary was given acting charge as the chair.

CADD Secretary Khalid Hanif told The Express Tribune that they are looking into the matter and violators will be punished accordingly.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2015.

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