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Charging summer vacation fees: SBP put on notice
« on: May 25, 2018, 12:41:10 PM »
Charging summer vacation fees: SBP put on notice
PESHAWAR:25 May: A court on Thursday put the central bank on notice for failing to freeze accounts of schools who have continued to charge students for the two-month-long summer vacations in violation of directives of the court.

The notice was issued by a two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan, on Thursday heard a contempt of court petition filed by Advocate Abbas Sangin Khan which urged the court to stop private schools from charging high fees from parents in violation of a verdict of the court.

Last November, the PHC had directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private School Regulatory Authority (K-PPSRA) to stop private schools from raising their annual fees by more than three per cent and do not charge tuition fee during vacations. The court had directed the government to craft a proper policy for regulating private schools including regulating their buildings, vehicles which pick and drop students and the overall environment of the school premises.

Regulating private schools: K-P fails to craft policy

The court had also directed traffic police to issue tickets to the owners of schools if they found old and dangerous plying the roads with school children. Moreover, the court had directed the K-P government to freeze accounts of all those schools who were violating court orders and charging extra fees from the students.

“Most of the private Schools have directed parents to submit fees for the vacations in advance,” contended Abbas before the court on Thursday.

“Private schools are committing contempt of court by charging the full school fee in vacations,” he went on to argue.

Private school told to return extra fees charged from students

The lawyer claimed that the K-PPSRA had totally failed to take a action in this regard. He told that despite the complaints, an account of not even a single school is blocked until the extra fee is returned to the students.

K-PPSRA Managing director Zafar Ali Shah appeared before the bench and told the court about the efforts they had made in regulating private schools.

“We are taking strict action against all the private schools who are violating court orders,” Shah told the court. “We have asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to freeze accounts of schools who are violating the court order, but so far we have not received any response from them [central bank].”

The court has issued a notice to the SBP with directives to explain why accounts of schools have not been blocked despite the request of K-PPSRA. The case was then adjourned until June 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2018.
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