Protest against high fee, low quality of education

Lahore:December 11:In connection with Human Rights Day-2017, a large number of parents and civil society members organised a demonstration against fee-hike and declining quality of education by private schools on Sunday. Chanting slogans and carrying placards at the demo, organised by the Parents Action Committee (PAC) and Civil Society Network at Liberty roundabout, the demonstrators, including schoolchildren expressed strong concerns over ‘high-handedness’ of private schools and termed the same a ‘mafia’ fleecing people in the name of education. They demanded the Punjab government to take measures against private schools for raising the fee 20 to 30 percent illegally. They highlighted inaccessibility of affordable and quality education. Addressing the protesters, PAC president Muhammad Ayub, General Secretary Sajeel Usmani, Vice-President Rana Muhammad Ajmal, Faiqa Salman and Civil Society Network President Abdullah Malik strongly condemned illegal fee-hike by private schools management and stated that they were the voice of every Pakistani parent. They said as per the Constitution of Pakistan, quality and free education was basic and constitutional right of every child and due to unavailability of quality educational institutes parents had no other option but to send their children to these unreasonably expensive private schools. The demonstrators questioned non-implementation of 10 percent quota for underprivileged children at private schools. The speakers demanded that PAC selected members be included in all major decisions made by private schools management. They said private schools should provide 50 percent sibling discount to second child and onward of the same family. They also demanded audit rule for all private schools by government regulatory authorities. The demonstrators also criticised the condition by private schools to purchase uniforms, books and stationery from prescribed shops only and also demanded the Punjab government to take appropriate measures to improve quality of education in government schools. 'Govt protecting minority rights': Provincial Minister of Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Khalil Tahir Sandhu on Sunday said the PML-N government has taken historic measures to ensure protection to minority rights. He said that all humans had equal rights and respect, as they were born equal. A person who lives in Pakistan deserves all the freedom and rights that are significantly important in Islam, he said. He said religions and basic rights of minorities in the county were also entitled to equality with other citizens' rights. The minister stated that every year, the Punjab government provided a special grant for the religious festivals like Christmas, Holi and Devali. He said 5 percent quota had been allocated for minorities in the government jobs, under which, more than 5,000 youths had been given jobs. Students belonging to minority communities are given special funds every year for scholarships, he added.The news.

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