With private schools up in arms against the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regularity Authority (KP-PSRA) regarding its recent directives regarding fee increase, the provincial government has now softened its approach in an attempt to reach a workable solution.

In a latest development, the regulatory authority is considering allowing private schools to raise fees based on the facilities being provided at campuses. KP-PPSRA Managing Director Syed Zafar Shah on Monday chaired a meeting of fee regularization committee, wherein it was decided to categorise schools based on facilities they provided and infrastructure they had in place.

The main considerations for the ranking would be the standard of education being imparted, transport facilities, quality of furniture and physical facilities, availability of clean drinking water, washrooms and other basic amenities.

Shah said the determination of school fees for each private school was a sensitive matter and assured that all stake holders would be taken on board before devising a final criteria.

But in the same breath, he warned all private schools to strictly follow the Private School Regularity Authority Act (PSRAA) 2018 and the Peshawar High Court (PHC) orders, adding that failure to do so would lead to stern legal action against violators.

The PSRA chief said the body had distributed relevant literature among all stakeholders and had asked them for feedback. He said the next meeting on the issue would be convened one the authority had received feedback from all stakeholders.

The fee raise issue has become a bone of contention between the KP government and private schools operating in the province ever since the PSRA set rules limiting annual fee increases in accordance with verdict of the Peshawar High Court. The regulatory body had earlier directed private schools in the province to increase tuition fee by just three percent per annum and charge only 50 percent tuition fee during summer vacations.it had also asked school administrations not to charge more than half of the tuition fee from the second and third children of the same parents.

The move led to a serious backlash from private school owners, with the private school in the province remaining shut for two days in April to protest the new regulations.

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