PESHAWAR: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday issued detailed verdict in a case pertaining to fee of private schools.

The apex court ordered all the private schools receiving monthly fee above Rs5,000 to reduce the fee by 20 percent. The schools receiving fee below this limit will be exempted from the order. The court has also barred the schools from firing teachers or reducing their salaries. The court has also directed schools to ensure that incentives given to students in the form of scholarships or fee concessions before the passing of the orders should also remain in place. The parents have also been directed to submit fee on time with 20 percent reduction.

The court said its orders issued on 13 December, 2018 were applicable to all private schools that charged a fee above the limit of Rs5,000 and there were no exceptions.

The court also took strong exception to the insulting letters written by some private schools to the parents of the students. It warned such schools of contempt of court notice if they did not stop this practice. The apex court observed that a mechanism was needed to make sure that schools are not run like businesses.

After issuance of the interim order in the case by the apex court, most of the private schools were not implementing the order, arguing that they cannot afford reduction in fee. Some schools partially implemented the order but reduced important facilities for the students and also cut down the staff which affected the studies of the students. Some schools even went one step ahead and wrote threatening letters to the parents. The letters had clearly stated that they were reducing quality and taking back facilities after the court orders.

During the last hearing of the case a week ago, the chief justice had taken strong exception over these reports and had warned schools not complying with the court orders that they will face strict action. The chief justice had questioned the integrity of the private schools owners with the education system and he had also expressed surprise over hefty salaries of the school directors as compared to meagre salaries of teachers.