Misplaced priorities: Education on the back burner in capital

NA body yet to deliver on PEIRA draft rules regulating private schools.


Riazul Haq July 12, 2015
NA body yet to deliver on PEIRA draft rules regulating private schools. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: It has been more than eight months now that the Supreme Court formed a six-member National Assembly body to examine and improve draft rules of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira) but it has yet to see the light of day.

The committee met on June 30 last but as usual, rules and drafts were discussed and the rest was left for the next meeting. The committee since its formation has met thrice but nothing conclusive has come out of it.

Peira was established through an act of Parliament in 2013 to register, regulate and implement uniform policy for private educational institutes in the capital.

The authority has yet to get a permanent head, while its ad-hoc staffers were paid four months in pending salaries on June 30. One of its officials said its Rs80 million budget for 2014-15 had also lapsed.

Peira has also been blamed for being hard on smaller franchises, while ignoring elite institutes.

The failure of Peira to perform its functions has allowed some private educational institutes to rule the roost.

Most institutes have already collected tuition fee for three months of summer vacations in advance in violation of Peira rules. The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) officials have different excuses but nothing logical to comment on why Peira is hamstrung.

QAU, Urdu varsity

The Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad and Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology are passing through tough times.

At QAU, the vice-chancellor (VC) is blamed for siding with a group of faculty members and following their ‘agenda’. Last week, teachers from different faculties huddled at the social sciences’ dean’s office to somehow stop the VC from removing the dean from her position.

The VC denies any such plans. The registrar has been sent on two months ‘forced’ leave while unrest and confusion has marred campus environment for three months.

Meanwhile, FUUAST has faced an ugly state of affairs as well as two parallel administrations are functioning in Karachi and Islamabad campuses.

Islamabad campus in-charge said the varsity had reached total academic, financial and administrative failure.

FBISE results

The past week was abuzz with Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) results of grade nine and 10th. In 10th grade in all disciplines students from Islamabad and Rawalpindi region topped the results.

In grade 10, as in the past, girls stole the show by clinching the top five positions leading with 85 per cent pass percentage. While the pass percentage of male students remained at 70.

In Islamabad, six model colleges for girls secured 100 per cent result, while eight colleges had results in the range of 91 to 98 per cent. The remaining 10 institutes came in the 88-77 percentage pass bracket. Similarly, 11 model colleges for boys made it to the 90-97 per cent pass bracket.

In grade nine, the overall pass percentage was 72 per cent. Success rate among girls was 84 per cent and among boys 67 per cent. In humanities, boys showed a poor 27 per cent pass rate, while girls led the way with 65 per cent.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015. 

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