After facing a strong backlash from institutions, the government regulator for private schools in the province seems to have softened its stance on the fees which can be charged by private schools, stating that private schools can set their fees based on the facilities they have on offer.
Syed Zafar Shah, the managing director of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regularity Authority (K-PPSRA), on Monday, chaired a meeting of the regulator’s fee regularization committee.
The meeting decided that before the fee structure of a private school is determined, schools should be categorised and ranked on the basis of the infrastructure installed in campuses and facilities on offer, such as the standards of education being imparted, physical facilities, transport, furniture, washrooms, provision of clean dirking water and other basic facilities.
During the meeting, Shah said that once schools are ranked, their fees would be confirmed accordingly.
The K-PPSRA managing director conceded that determining fees for each private school was a very sensitive matter, but he assured that the body would try to take all stakeholders into confidence before affixing price.
Shah also took the opportunity to direct all private schools across the province to strictly follow the Private School Regularity Authority Act (PSRAA) 2018, and orders from the Peshawar High Court (PHC). Failure to do so, he warned, would draw action from the body.
The chief regulator said that they had distributed literature among all stakeholders and urged them to read it carefully and provide their comments and feedback. Once all the representatives file their completed feedback forms, a meeting would be called to review the suggestions or complaints.
The meeting was also attended by Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar Chairman Dr Fazal Rehman, PSRA Deputy Noor Alam Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Elementary and Secondary Education Department Deputy Director Zahid Muhammad, City Schools Director Shiren Junaid, Peshawar Model School Director Sanam Sehti, Beacon House Peshawar Chairman Qasim Khan and other representatives from different private schools and parents.
The move comes weeks after private schools across the province shut its doors for two days to protest against the K-PPSRA.
The strike came in response to a call issued by the Private Schools Owners Association (PSOA) of K-P as they protest against regulatory measures adopted by the K-PPSRA.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2018.