Islamabad - Parents Thursday urged the concerned authorities to make Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) functional for controlling the rising fee structures of private schools operating in federal capital.

The act of PEIRA was passed from both the houses of Parliament and signed by the then President during March 2013 however the rules of the act are still lying with Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) for approval.

According to an official source, PEIRA which is working without a permanent chairman since May 2013, neither registered any private school during the current year nor issued renewal certificate to any institute.

The employees of PEIRA are deprived of their salaries from last five month and if they do not get salaries, the funds would be lapsed till June, 30.

The authority was established in the year 2006 with a mandate to control, register and regulate the private educational institutions however could not function earlier due to lack of powers and now in absence of a permanent chairman.

Shahid Khan, a parent of the student studying in one of leading private schools said the private schools have become money minting machines and are charging high fee and funds without any check and balance. There must be some authority to keep eye on these schools regarding their fee structure, he added.

The fee charged by most of the leading private schools, he said, is not affordable for the salaried class while the public schools have not that much capacity to accommodate more children.

President, Private Schools Network (PSN), Dr Afzal Babar said there are five to six big chains of private schools in capital which have opened around 25 campuses each and it is very essential to fix the regulatory mechanism to control the fee structure of these schools.

These campuses are not registered with PEIRA and are getting huge amount of money as fee, putting extra burden on pockets of the parents during the prevailing price hike situation.

He said the private schools owners want check and balance so that the

discrimination in provision of educational facilities is ended and the students are provided the quality education matched with the fee they pay.

He said the draft of PEIRA rules was finalized by a committee formed in the supervision of previous Acting chairman of PEIRA Umer Hameed with inclusion of criteria for appointment of chairman but these are lying with CADD for approval.

The draft proposed different four categories of the private schools

according to their fee structure including the schools categories charging fee from Rs2,000 to Rs5,000, Rs5,000 to Rs10,000, Rs10,000 to Rs20,000 and Rs20,000 to onward on monthly basis.

Dr Babar said around 2,000 private schools are operating in capital with more than three lac students and around 70 private schools are charging more than Rs20,000 monthly fee.

An official of PEIRA, when contacted, informed that they launched protests against non-issuance of their salaries and now the CADD has invited us for meeting. He said the employees of PEIRA are deprived of their salaries from the last many months what to talk about their performance.