According to news doing rounds on television channels, the Supreme Court has hinted at directing government to take control of private educational institutes in Pakistan.
A three-member bench including Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Faisal Arbab and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard a case regarding the use of contemptuous language in a letter addresses to the top judge by the administrations of two private schools in Islamabad.
The letter pertaining to SC’s decision of 20% decrease in the fee charged by the private schools was said to contemptuos language for the court.
Angered over the letter’s content, Justice Ahsan said that the language used was contemptuous. However, the private school’s counsel has clarified that the administration did not intent to disrespect the court in any way.
Justice Ahmed also criticized private schools for lack of remorse and having turned education into a business. The judge also pointed out intrusive questions that were usually asked before admissions given in private schools.
“Why should we not direct the government to take control of private school?” he said, maintaining it was none of the business of the schools where the parents were headed off for a vacation.
The hearing has been adjourned for two weeks by the apex court and reply has been sought from the administration of the private schools.
In December 2018 the SC ordered private schools charging over Rs5,000 per month to reduce their fees by 20%. It also restricted schools to a maximum 8 per cent increase per year with the permission of a regulator. The apex court also directed administrations to return half the fee charged for summer vacations or adjust the amount. While the fee has been decreased, there has been no follow up regarding the summer vacation charges or their return.