Private schools criticised for charging exorbitant fees, turning education into business
KARACHI: A number of parents including those fighting a legal battle against the private schools’ act of charging exorbitant fees and additional demands that these institutions make while educating children appeared on ARY Zindagi’s ‘Salam Zindagi’ show and apprised the audience about the problems they are facing.
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At a time when Sindh High Court (SHC) has restrained private schools from raising their tuition fee by more than 5% until further orders during the hearing of the case pertaining to restraining the schools from raising fees on their will, the show was full of revelations from parents.
Parents who attended the show said that private schools can’t just be restricted through controlling the fees as some schools also force parents to buy course books and stationary from the school.
“Now they force us to buy certain books from school and the price difference is huge, you get a book from market from Rs1000 but they will sell it you for Rs4000,” said a parent.
He added that his children’s school is even charging a security fee but all he is getting in the name of security is a peon or sweeper wearing the uniform of a security guard and a security camera.
“Their (school’s) expenses are increasing because they want to buy new cars every six months or so,” said an angry parent.
HERE IS THE VIDEO OF THE FULL SHOW
One parent complained that a single school takes different amount of fees according to the area where their particular branch is located.
“They don’t hire better teachers or provide better facilities but charge us more if we enroll our child in the branch of a school located in a posh area,” the parent said.
The parents who attended the show also clarified that they are not demanding that fee must be lowered but they are protesting against the unlawful rise in the school fee.
“We pay a lot to the school but they still ask us to arrange tuitions for our child, why are we paying them if a tuition teacher has to do the job?” asked one parent.
Journalist Sidra Iqbal too attended the show and said that top educational systems in the world do not burden the children with homework and allow natural learning process while in Pakistan parents too burden their children with tuition and other stuff at a time when they need recreation.
“You (parents) are spending a hefty amount on your child’s education but have you ever thought about his/her happiness? we burden him with expectations and you will not meet a single parent who doesn’t tell his child that itni fees dete hein phir bhi tumhare wo marks nhii aaye (we paid a lot for your education but your score is not up to our expectations).
Host Faysal Qureshi maintained that as a parent he too is suffering from the same as education has been turned into business and called for a proper reform into the schooling system.
He also announced to give private schools a chance to come up with their side of the story.