LAHORE - Legislators from both sides of the political divide become one voice on the issue of private schools charging heavy tuition fee from parents at the Punjab Assembly on Thursday.

Agreeing to the viewpoint of legislators, Acting Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari directed the minister to take measures for early resolution of the issue.

The chair referred The Namal Institute Mianwali Bill 2019 to the relevant committee with the direction to submit report within 60 days.

The session started one hour and 30 minutes beyond the scheduled time qith Acting Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

During Question Hour on Schools Education and Higher Education Departments, opposition legislator Azma Zahid Bokhari said that most of the schools were charging fee as usual in violation of the Apex Court orders. She said that some educational institutions have decreased fee but at the same time have stooped many facilities including swimming. She said that owners of private schools have made a monopoly. She said that these schools were also decreasing salaries of teachers. She said that teachers were losing jobs. She said that the stance of the minister was totally different when he was sitting on the opposition benches.

Treasury legislator Shawana Bashir said that the schools have increased the number of students in a class after decreasing fee. Now, she said, strength of students in these private schools was almost the same as in the government institutions. She suggested these schools to charge the same fee as in the government schools.

Treasury legislator Abdul Rehman Khan said that it was a serious issue which should be settled at the earliest. He said that these schools have own curriculum. He said that the government should introduce uniform curriculum for all types of institutions.

Opposition legislator Abdul Rauf Mughal alleged that the ministers were promoting private schools. He said that the government schools were decreasing and those in the private sector were increasing gradually. He said that the government was not providing funds for rehabilitation of government schools and providing missing facilities there.  

Dost Muhammad Mazari said that it was a serious issue which should be resolved at the earliest. He said that kids of legislators were studying at these schools. He said that implementation on the Apex Court orders was responsibility of the government. He said that steps should be taken to end monopoly of owners.

Minister Dr Murad Ras said that the government could not reduce fee by force. He said that the government was holding talks with owners of schools. He said that next meeting was scheduled for February 12. He said that a comprehensive policy would be introduced by June this year.  Referring to the Apex Court orders, he said that this 20 per cent decrease in fee was for the first time in the history of the country.

Responding to Call Attention Notice of PML-N’s Hina Pervaiz Butt, Law Minister Raja Basharat said that accused of killing two women outside court in Jehanian has been arrested.

He said that old enmity took lives of these two women. He said that the police were investigating and the challan would be submitted in the court soon.

Adjournment motion of PML-N legislator Sheikh Allauddin regarding cutting of old trees and prohibiting entry of cars in Bagh-e-Jinnah was pended due to delay in reply from the relevant department.

During Government Business, Raja Basharat laid The Namal Institute Mianwali Bill 2019. The chair referred the bill to the standing committee with the direction to submit report within 60 days.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Friday (today) at 9am.