Parents of school going children expressed their concern over the possible compromise of quality in private educational institutions, especially after the 20 percent fee slash. This, along with many other issues, were discussed on Sunday in the event titled ‘Educational Needs’ organized by the Islamabad Educational Forum.
Accompanied by lawyers, educationists and members of the civil society, concerned parents participated in the event to discuss their points. They said that according to the constitution of Pakistan, it was the sole responsibility of the state to provide the basic free and quality of Education but all governments in the past failed to accomplish this basic task.
Prominent Educationist Dr. Akbar Yezdani said that public and private sector schools operate around the world manage to provide good standards of education. He regretted, however, that the scenario in Pakistan is very different, as our people prefer private schools since government institutions are not in a position to offer the standards of education they desire for their children.
“It was the private education sector which played a pivotal role in increasing the literacy level of the country”, he said, recalling that as per official figures, the government of Sindh has spent Rs.1000 billion on education in the last five years while it could not make a significant change in the literacy rate of the province. Dr. Yezdani claimed that an estimated 35 million children were being educated in private schools, which raises a big question for the government.
A representative of the private schools said that the reduction of 20 percent in school fee would make the private schools take some measures because 55 percent of tuition fee income goes into the staff salaries. He further added that Private Schools are the largest caterers to the women employers in the sector as most of the women who work there are single mothers and/or sole earners of their family.
Former President of Islamabad District Bar Association, Riasat Ali Azad, said that while Article 25-A of the Constitution gives each child the right to free education, this is lamentably not happening since 25 million kids are out of school – regardless of whether public or private.”Other than out of younger students, an expansive number of the rest of the youngsters are getting educated in the private schools” he stated while commenting on ‘uniform educational programs’ as a smart yet impossible program. “Parents look for private schools for their kids for quality education, which is mysteriously absent in government schools”, he lamented.
Different speakers recommended that the government guarantee that children would be given quality education that would empower them with worldly knowledge. They additionally concurred that schools should have a solid handle of ideas so they don’t require private tutoring.