SHC declares hike in private school fees illegal

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday declared as illegal a hike in private school fees.

The SHC during a hearing on a petition against a government notification on a hike in private school fees in the province, rendered the notifcation void.

The court also barred private schools in the province from charging late fee surcharges and additional fees onto existing school fees.

A two-judge bench of the SHC had reserved ruling on this matter in August last year.

Parents of students belonging to various schools in the province had petitioned the SHC in December 2017 to reverse the government order increasing school fees. They asked the court to direct the authorities concerned to restrain the school management from increasing fees and to ensure they follow rules and regulations.

Further, in their petition, the parents said that schools do not issue fee vouchers on time and then charge a late fee surcharge to the voucher once it is provided to parents. “It is like they want to deliberately add the late fee surcharge to the voucher,” the parents argued.

During today’s hearing, the bench remarked that the hike suggested by the government is illegal, and that a policy should be devised to create a legal framework for increasing school fees.

 “A committee should be formed to hear the parents’ suggestions on increasing school fees and if their recommendations are rejected then the committee should provide reasons for doing so,” the court upheld.

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