The Sindh High Court on Monday told the Director-General Schools to continue taking action against private schools that fail to implement its previous order restraining schools from increasing their tuition fee by more than five per cent per annum.
The high court on December 3 also ordered private schools to restore the fee structure in place on September 20, 2017, and reimburse any fees they may have charged from parents in excess of it.
In today’s hearing regarding the implementation of the above order, the DG Schools was also asked to provide, on Feb 25, the court details of fees that are to be returned to parents in compliance with the court’s orders.
Earlier in the hearing, after repeatedly asking the DG what actions he may take against schools that do not follow the court’s orders, the judges remarked that it seems that he (the DG Schools) had been appointed “solely because he cannot do anything.”
The court further remarked that schools which do not follow its orders should be shut down, but if that was to happen “tomorrow, school children will be standing here [in protest].”
During the hearing, the DG also told the court that the registration of private schools, including The City School and the Beacon House School Systems, has been revoked.
When asked about progress on the creation of new fee structures for private schools, the DG said, “Fee structures can be discussed [with the schools] once their registration is restored.”
The hearing was adjourned till February 25.
In the previous hearing of the case in the SHC, the bench had been informed that students who were not able to pay tuition and examination fees were not allowed to sit in exams, after which the SHC had directed the schools’ management to allow such students to sit for exams.
The court had also restrained the school management from harassing students and directed parents to pay tuition fees as per the revised fee structure.
The Supreme Court on December 13, on a petition against a hike in private school fees, had ordered a 20 per cent decrease in fees charged by upscale private schools and ordered them to return half the fees they had charged for summer vacations. The order was applicable to private schools across the country whose fees are in excess of Rs5,000.