It is shocking to know that the government, till now, has failed to rein in the excesses of private schools nor has it been able to develop a mechanism to maintain checks and balances on their activities. Schools continue to charge excessive fees.
Most schools have sent notices to those parents who have refused to pay the revised, higher fees. At the same time, the annual pay increments for most of the teachers employed in private schools have also been held back by the institution owners. Government machinery seems to be taking no steps against the excessive fee increases and the helpless parents will, once again, be forced to take to the streets in protest.
Private schools seem to be fleecing parents and treating them like ATM machines. Despite numerous protests, the parents’ demand of the government putting an effective halt to arbitrary fee increases and establishing a checks and balance mechanism to monitor activities of private schools and streamline their fee structures have fell on deaf ears.
The news of these protests spread like wildfire, with news channels and newspapers headlining the clear message that the government must implement some rules to curtail these draconian practices. Therefore, it is very disappointing that no effective action has been taken till now.
Private institutions claim to be working to promote education while in actual fact they have turned education into a money-making enterprise and are least interested in imparting quality education to children. The reality is that the owners of these private schools are busy maximising their profits rather than working to promote education. They seem to have a strong drive to earn rather than learn.
Unfortunately, in our country, only education geared to the elite has seen improvements, while no attention has been paid to institutes that educate the rest of society. The former provides opportunity to the affluent classes, whereas the latter should provide the same to a much larger segment of society. But that, sadly, is not the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2015.
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