The All Private School Management Association (APSMA) has appealed to the government to give low-cost private schools grants to salvage their crumbling finances.
“With inflation skyrocketing, parents who send their children to low cost private schools are unable to pay tuition fees,” said Khalid Shah, president of APSMA, at a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.
He said that in the absence of functional government schools, low-cost private schools were doing working class parents a service by educating their children.
“With the law and order situation deteriorating, businesses are wrapping up and unemployment is rising. While previously unpaid tuition fee in schools was averaged at two percent, now the ratio has risen to over 40 percent in some cases,” said Shah.
He added that the government should stop its adopt-a-school policy where it allowed private individuals to adopt government schools.
“They are taking the education budget and also asking private individuals to adopt government schools. Instead, the government should allocate some portion of the education budget to assist low- cost private schools.”
These grants, he said, should not be given to any school but only those which were giving quality education and not minting money.
Shah suggested that banks should provide soft loans to schools so that if they needed money for the upkeep of a library or constructing rooms they were able to do so. “Right now no bank in the province gives loans to schools.”
Shah said the Sindh Education Foundation was created to assist private schools but it ended up building their own schools.
He also stressed that the government should stop taking taxes from private schools under the commercial head.
“We are not demanding anything extraordinary. All these facilities were available to schools before nationalisation,” he said.