KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) once again restrained on Wednesday private schools from raising their tuition fee by more than 5% until further orders.
Headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh, a two-judge bench issued the directives on a constitutional petition jointly filed by parents of children studying in different private schools against the respective managements for increasing fee by over 5% in violation of the rules and regulations.
The bench also directed the education department and respondent private schools to file their respective comments on the matter by the next date of hearing, which would be later pronounced by the court’s office. The provincial law officer was also issued a notice.
The petitioners submitted that the school managements could not increase the fee by more than 5% in an academic year under the existing rules and regulations. However, they said, some private schools increased the fee by more than 10% in violation of the rules.
The petitioners asked the court to direct the authorities concerned to restrain the school managements from increasing the fee by more than 5% and to follow the rules and regulations.
Last week, taking notice of the illegal increase in school fee, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar had warned the educational institutions’ owners who raised the fee illegally that they would not only be fined but would also have to go behind bars if they did not mend their ways. “No one is above the law and strict action will be taken against those educational institutions, which have raised fees illegally,” he said. “A summary is being moved to law department to make the laws more effective against those institutions which violated the rules and regulations.”
Hearing an identical petition last year, the SHC had directed the provincial education department to ensure enforcement of Sub-rule 7 m(3) of the Rules 2002 that bound the private institutions not to increase their fee by over 5% in an academic year and further requiring them to revise fee structure with prior approval of the government.