Quetta – Newly proposed private education regulation bill was debated in a public forum held in Quetta Press Club, on Wednesday.
Public forum was conducted by Azat Foundation and HARD with collaboration of Action Aid and Education Network Balochistan.
Those who addressed the forum include Shah Jahan Baloch Action Aid Program Manager, Zahid Mengal Executive Director Azat Foundation and Rasheed Kakar and Muhammad Nawaz Pandrani from Private School Associations.
Participants of the forum appreciated Secretary Education for withdrawing the controversial Private education regulation act immediately.
Balochistan Private Educational Institutions Registration and Regulation Authority Act 2015 was passed by Balochistan Assembly in October 2015 which received severe criticism from different sections of Society.
In reaction to criticism, Education Department of Balochistan decided to repeal the aforementioned bill and proposed a new bill called, Balochistan Private Educational Institutions Registration, Regulation, and Promotion Act 2016.
Education department has sought feedback from private institutes and general public on the proposed bill through EMIS website.
2,200 private schools in Balochistan are imparting education to over 500,000 students
Importance of Private Schools
Participants of the public forum lauded the efforts of Private schools in assisting the state in providing education to citizens.
Almost 2,200 private schools in Balochistan are imparting education to over 500,000 students, participants said.
Some participants claimed that private schools are imparting education even in those areas where government schools do not exist. “Private schools have better facilities as compared to government schools,” claimed a participant in the public forum.
Lack of Government Support
Participants lamented the lack of government support to the private schools.
Unfortunately, Private schools are not getting any financial and technical assistance from government, lamented the participants.
Participants suggested that government should provide grant-in-aid to good performing Private Schools on annual basis.
Government should provide grant-in-aid to good performing Private schools on annual basis – Participants
Demands of the Forum
Following are the main demands made by participants through the forum:
- Proposed methods for teacher recruitment and salary fixation should be reviewed.
- All schools whether they are affiliated with Balochistan Board or not should be brought under the umbrella of proposed bill.
- Private schools which are a part of country-wide chains should also be regulated.
- A new directorate should be established for the private schools under an Additional director.
- Public forums should be conducted on Tehsil levels for this act before finalizing it.
Participants stated that the new act should be comprehensive and based on public interest.
Public forum was concluded on the note that if the new act is passed in haste like the old one then private school association along with civil Society will vigorously protest against it.
Published in The Balochistan Point on December 24, 2015