Missionary schools vex parents with high fees


Missionary institutions in Rawalpindi continue to irk parents of students with high fee structures, resulting in frequent drop outs. These institutes were established to provide low-cost education to children of the Christian community who were unable to bear their living expenses, but they have turned into money-minting machines instead.
According to a survey, a hundred students who were unable to pay the fee, had left these schools, and the school authorities refused to listen to any excuses or provide relief to deserving students.
Parents Action Committee General Secretary Asif Barnard told APP that missionary schools, including Saint Mary’s Cambridge High School, Saint Teresa Girls High School and Saint Patrick’s Boys High School, were working under the Catholic Church and were funded from across the world.
Around a hundred students left these schools this year due to the increased fee and there was no regulatory authority to check the unjustified hike.
The schools were charging exorbitant fee and extracting money from the pockets of parents in the name of funds. Barnard said, “I wrote to the Punjab chief minister and tried to approach the federal minister for minorities to save the children’s future, but no one paid any heed to this issue, I also tried to speak with Bishop Rufan Anthony and Parish Priest Father Nasir Javed to discuss this matter, but they didn’t spare time.” When Pakistan came into being in 1947, the church took the responsibility of setting up missionary institutes to provide education to children from poor families and successfully upheld their goal for a long time. Now they have turned education into a business and have commercialised this noble cause to earn money, Barnard observed.
Families living below the poverty line were compelled to discontinue their children’s education, with the options to admit them in a public school or to send them to earn a living.
Bashir Masih, a parent, whose children were studying in Saint Mary’s Cambridge High School said that the fees for grades one and prep had been increased to Rs 2,000, with an admission fee of Rs 1,900, while the fees for grades two to five had been raised to Rs 2,000 with an admission fee of Rs 2,000, which was not affordable.
“My children were removed from the school during their annual exams for a delay in paying the school fee,” said another parent Yaseen, who urged the government to take stern action against those who playing with the future of the nation.
He urged the authorities to form a regulatory authority to check the fee structure of these schools, which were established to educate poor children.