Sukkur school expels fifth-class girl for not paying 'inflated fee'

By: Maqbool Ahmad      Published: 02:11 AM, 28 Feb, 2020
Sukkur school expels fifth-class girl for not paying 'inflated fee'
Students attend a class at a government school in Peshawar.–AFP file photo

A private school in the Sukkur town of Sindh on Thursday expelled a fifth class student for not paying the "inflated fee".

As the school management handed over the girl a Rs17,000 fee voucher, her father challenged the school's decision to increase the fee. The school reportedly expelled his daughter and he approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) for relief. As a result, the SHC summoned both parties for a hearing on April 2, a news channel reported.

Sarwar Lateef filed his petition in the SHC, pleading that his daughter’s school fee was Rs4,875 per month, but the school management handed her over a Rs17,025 fee voucher in February. He submitted that the school management expelled his daughter when he called into question the increase in her fee. As a last resort, he said, he approached the court.

In a related development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which recently completed hearing of a case on fee increase by private schools and then reserved its verdict, is going to announce its verdict today, Friday (February 28). IHC Justice Amir Farooq will announce the verdict.

Earlier, the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) had directed private schools on September 23 to comply with the Supreme Court orders on increase in fee. In reaction, the Islamabad Private Schools Association challenged the PEIRA directive in the Islamabad High Court. The association pleaded that the Supreme Court order on increase in school fee did not apply to private schools in Islamabad. Parents of many schoolchildren too approached the court and sought directives for private schools to comply with the Supreme Court orders on school fee.

International watchdogs see Pakistan “among the world’s worst performing countries in education”. The new government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which was elected in July 2018, stated in its manifesto that nearly 22.5 million children are out of school. Girls are particularly affected. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared to 21 percent of boys. By grade six, 59 percent of girls are out of school, versus 49 percent of boys. Only 13 percent of girls are still in school by ninth grade. Both boys and girls are missing out on education in unacceptable numbers, but girls are the worst affected.