The dilemma here in our country is; people don’t want to obey law and any new law teases them because they are not educated about the importance of law making and its impact on society. In last September, when parents are protesting with suns on their heads and banners on their hands against the final hooliganism of private schools, the government acted and stopped the private schools cum business to cancel the notification of fee hike. The government was working on the issue and now in 2016 at last the law has been devised and passed by the provisional assembly of Punjab, which carries all the details to tackle private school issue.
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The private school bodies are not ready to accept this, the representation has been divided as some private schools have made their own body to safeguard their interest (financial most expectedly). The schools were closed on 8th and 9th March 2016 as protests and government showed its intention to negotiate on demands.
The things did not seem clear as the government will not compromise on the clause of “pre-permission” for fee hike which will be maximum 5 %.
Now, both parties have joined hand; All-Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) and Pakistan Education Council (PEC). In a joined press conference; they took the point in their favor that with such inflation rise in security management it is easy for them to run schools with hurdles as imposed by law.
The representatives argued that rents increase minimum with average of 18 to 20 % and salaries with 15 % ratio. Schools in private sector are providing education to 60 % of population and help government with their efforts.
An interesting fact now comes in media attention that some schools have sent letter to parents in which they alarmed them with the consequences of such law, which is imposed on schools. They conveyed to parents that in case of implementation the schools have to ban all extracurricular activities, they have to increase class size and various facilities will be suspended because of financial pressure.
The schools need the support of parents to pressurize government but the way they are doing by cautioning the parents; it is completely not understandable. As mostly schools are in profit and especially the protest leaders are elite schools where the fee is above 10,000. The sizes of classes are already large. The point, they are arguing that they increase salaries 15% is totally absurd. The teachers are paid much low salaries and their increments are usually stopped in the name of performance and evaluations.
What extracurricular activities they are threatening to close?? Do they have any play ground, where they offer daily physical activity? Mostly schools are working in short area or rented buildings and rely on annual sports day. So which extracurricular activities they will close. Pet day and color day? That is mostly the elite schools luxurious idea.
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They know that their strategy of threatening government and parents with two day strike is not working, so they started to work for step 2 of their protest.