SHC Restrains School from Taking Action Against Complainants

The Sindh High Court has barred Foundation Public School Hyderabad from taking any coercive action against students whose parents have challenged the school’s decision to levy an annual fee. The court’s move comes as a relief to the parents who feared their children might be expelled from the school due to non-payment of the disputed fee.

The court’s directive follows a petition filed by more than two dozen parents who questioned the Rs15,000 annual fee charged by the school, citing a government letter that allows the school to collect the fee under certain regulations. However, the parents argue that the school’s decision to charge the fee is unfair and violates government directives.

The petitioners’ counsel, advocate Riaz Ali Panhwar, informed the court that the school had stopped accepting tuition fees from parents who opposed the annual fee, raising concerns that their children might be expelled on grounds of non-payment. The court accordingly issued notices to the Sindh government, Sindh education department, Directorate of Inspection and Registration, and the school, asking them to appear before the court on March 6.

The issue highlights the ongoing debate around private schools’ fee structures and their impact on students’ access to quality education. The government’s circular, which states that charging any fee beyond admission and tuition fee is illegal, supports the parents’ argument. Moreover, the absence of a functional Parents Teachers Association (PTA) at the school raises questions about the lack of transparency and communication between teachers and parents.

Acknowledgement: Published by Express Tribune on 05-02-2024

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