Public schools not enough for provision of free education to all: report


LAHORE: A senior lawyer on Wednesday told the Lahore High Court that the provincial government had been providing free education but the schools were not enough to accommodate all the children, according to a report by a private media outlet.

Advocate A K Dogar stated that the education being imparted in the government-owned schools was not of good quality but was rather below the standard. He said there were three categories of schools – government-run for the poor and privately-run for the rich, while the third one were madrassas (seminaries), that impart Islamic education free of cost.

He said the classification of the education system was unethical and against the basic principles of Islam.

Dogar was advancing his arguments before a three-judge full bench seized with a number of petitions for the provision of quality education by the government and against the exorbitant fee structures of private schools.

The senior counsel argued that the government should be directed to establish more schools and raise their standard of education.

He said the private educational institutions had the right to do a lawful business, but they could not be permitted to mint money from the citizens in the name of education.

He said the people were forced to send their children to private schools by paying huge fees as the quality of education in the government-run schools had declined drastically.

He said the citizens had been deprived of their right to quality education due to the failure of the government and the private schools had been exploiting the situation.

He said the rulers always used the lame excuse of shortage of funds for establishing new schools, but never hesitated to spend public money for their personal benefits.

To a court query, the counsel said he did not want to get all private schools closed. However, he said these institutions could not be allowed to mint money.

The bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh adjourned hearing till March 5, asking the provincial government’s lawyer to come up with his arguments.

The bench would also hear views of parents on the next hearing.

Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza and Justice Shahid Karim are other members of the full bench.