Govt should make education top priority, SC says


–Court adjourns private schools fees case till April 29


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) Thursday adjourned hearing of the case regarding increase in the fees of private schools till April 29, observing that the government’s main priority should be the provision of quality education.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprised Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, Justice Faisal Arab said conditions could be better if the government took care of public schools along with the private educational institutions.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa said the court would ask the government about government schools after reviewing the matter of private schools.

Public schools were in pathetic conditions as the government did not take care of them properly, he said and added the government would have to be answerable on this.

He reiterated that the government’s focus should be education, education and education.

He suggested the government to provide maximum funds to education sector as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan also emphasized on the education.

He said if we did not focus on the education then our country would remain far behind from other nations.

The counsel for the Sindh government said private schools earned Rs300 million to Rs500 million in annual admissions of students and this amount was non refundable.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said profits of private schools were increasing day by day. The number of private schools were also increasing rapidly, he added.

The chief justice said a private schools which owned 50 branches previously now owned 100 or 150 branches.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said around 256 percent profit increase was witnessed in the profits of Froebel Schools Karachi while Beacon House School earned 32.5 percent profit and the Lahore Grammar School earned around 40 percent profit.

The chief justice said the court could not stop people from earning profits.

He asked whether any school mention loss in the audit report.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said City Schools earned 36 percent profit, Grammar School earned 26 percent profit while the Learning Alliance Schools earned 36 percent profit annually. Beacon House School earned Rs1.4 billion profit annually.

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said the private schools owners had started to establish their cement factories.