Thursday, July 31, 2014
Pakistan Gulen Turkish School in court for Tuition discrimination
ISLAMABAD: A court has sought explanation from private educational institutes’ watchdog and a private school for adopting discriminatory fee structure and directed the school administration to allow the student to attend classes till further orders. The Islamabad High Court on a petition on Thursday summoned officials of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) and the management of Pak-Turk International School on October 10 for adopting a discriminatory fee structure. The petition has been filed by Dr Kamranullah Khan against the school’s Chak Shahzad campus management for refusing to implement PEIRA’s directive to adopt a uniform fee structure which according to him is discriminatory. According to the complainant, the school charged Rs11,760 as monthly fee from his son, a third grader, compared to Rs6,500 some of his class fellows are asked to pay. He stated that he asked the school management to rationalize the fee structure which they refused. Dr Khan complained to PEIRA who ruled in his favour and directed the school management to implement a uniform fee structure. The directives of the regulatory authority were not only defied by the school management, his son was barred from entering the school premises. Despite receiving PEIRA’s directives, the school administration harassed my son when he went to school on September 5 after summer vacation. Without intimating the parents, they forced the boy to wait at the gate for seven hours in scorching heat without providing water or food, the applicants stated. “The school threatened me of dire consequences if I made further demands to curtail the fee,” alleged Khan who approached the Chak Shahzad Police Station to lodge a complaint against the school management and subsequently moved the court. The applicant has contended that many of his son’s class fellows pay Rs5,000 to Rs6,500 per month but he pays a higher fee for his son, which is unjust and discriminatory. He said when his son was admitted to the school last year in grade two, he was charged Rs10,500. After one year, the fee was increased to Rs11,760, an increment of 12 per cent. When the school management was contacted to get their version, they rejected the allegations, claiming that the complainant had tried to pressurise them to reduce his son’s fee. They contended that the petitioner had signed a form agreeing to all the terms and conditions. He applied for a fee concession and he was given Rs3,500 reduction. But he tried to have the fee waived off and used abusive language when he met the school principal along with his wife. On the charge of disallowing the student to enter the school premises, they said the boy was allowed to enter the school premises after the parents dropped him off and sat in a classroom. An official said that the school management gives scholarships to over 200 deserving students. Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.