* Schools claiming to be branches of registered schools, but operating separately
* Private schools association chairman says inspection teams should not take bribes for registering schools
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: Flaws in the Education Department’s mechanism for formal registration of private schools and their affiliation with the relevant board (for Lahore district, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education) has led to an increase in the number of private schools which do not meet the standards set by the government.
Claiming affiliation: There are 5,500 registered private schools in Lahore. According to sources in the Education Department, the actual number of schools was greater than this figure. They said many schools claimed to be branches of registered schools but actually operated independently. Sources said these schools paid fees to the registered schools and asked their ‘permission’ to either use their name or claim themselves a branch.
Educationists believe primary education is vital since it lays the foundation of a person’s academic career and only schools that fulfil the requirements should be registered.
All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) Chairman Adeeb Jawadani said government schools are few and unable to cater to the educational needs of the population. He opposed the idea that registration criteria for affiliation should be tightened or that registration fees should be increased. Jawadani said many private schools did not meet the standards required to provide quality education and the Education Department was equally responsible for the fast growth of private schools.
Inspection teams: He said school inspection teams should only register those schools that fulfil the criteria and should not take bribes.
The public relations officer of an English medium chain of schools said many private schools tricked people by falsely labeling themselves as English medium. He said the government should adopt a strong mechanism for registering private schools and only schools with a proper faculty and infrastructure should be registered. Executive District Officer (EDO) (Education) Muhammad Arshad said many private schools concealed their fraudulent activities in order to be registered. He said before registration, school inspectors check whether or not the school in question fulfils the requirements. Arshad said action could be taken against such schools if complaints are received against them.