KARACHI: During the recent closure of educational institutes owing to the third wave of Covid-19, around 15 low-fee privately-owned schools in the Karachi region have been shut down by their administrators.
The school owners while informing the officials of the Directorate of Inspection and Registration of Private Institutes Sindh have said that they have been struggling to survive and overcome the financial crunch during the closure of schools, but failed to continue. “We will not be able to continue our operations. We have already vacated the premises and informed the parents regarding our decision,” a letter written by the owner of Star Links School Muhammad Omer Naqi reads.
Another schoolowner of the The Smart School, located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, in his letter to the DIRPIS officials has said that the current closure of schools has been presented an immense economic pursue on the struggling business. “With the current situation in hand and free recovery on almost half, we are unable to continue our school. We have already vacated the premises and informed the parents regarding the closure of the campus”
Similarly, as many as 13 other school owners have also written letters to the DIRPIS that they would be unable to operate their in future. According to the statistics provided by an officer of the directorate, apart from those 13 schools around 8 other schools located in various areas of the metropolis have also vacated the building in which they were operating their sub-campuses and braches. They are included the Smart School Landhi, Whit Rose School Korangi No 6, Sunrise School, Star kids School, The Quaid School Orangi, Al-Rehman Public School New Karachi, Children Academy New Karachi, and Royal Grammar School Baldia Town.
Commenting on the issue the All Sindh Private Schools and Colleges Association’s Chairman Haider Ali said that during the last 14 months the Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost all walks of life but the education sector suffered the worst damages. The international organizations have also accepted that the education sector across the globe has been facing long-lasting disruptions.
He said that they believe that shutting down educational institutions in the first, second, and third wave of the Covid-19 was not a single solution to restrict the spread of Covid-19. The authorities should have treated all the sectors, equally. The irony was the ruling parties held public gatherings but there was no one to ask them.
He said that out of 14 months, the schools remain closed for around 11 months. During this period the school owners were forced to pay salaries of the teachers, rent, utility bills, and even 20 percent concession in tuition fees. This situation resulted in the permanent closure of the low-fee private schools.
He pointed out that around 500 private schools in Sindh have already stopped operations when the provincial government announced closure during the second wave of Covid-19. However, now the situation is that the concerned authorizes are not serious to financially assist the low-cost schools. Therefore, it is expected that more would close operations.
Ali further stated that when administrators shut down their schools for good, they don’t inform the associations to which they are affiliated. Therefore, it might be difficult to trace the number of permanently closed schools during pandemic.