Why is it critical to rationalize the fee structures of private schools?
The right to education is a fundamental right of Pakistanis as protected in Article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan. Then, it is not only providing education but also providing it free of cost. Accordingly, the state must provide quality education to the citizens free of charge. However, it is a complex issue in Pakistan. Although the public sector is providing education free of cost; however, the private sector is charging excessive fees. It is a profiteering industry now. Therefore, it is critical to have a rationalized fee structure for private schools so that middle-class parents can afford it.
There is an urgent need to bring Pakistan’s education industry into a responsible and reasonable fee structure that considers the quality of educational institutions, facilities and the economic conditions of most of the population there. The current fee structure of many educational institutions is excessive, making access to quality education impossible for many students. This has widened a significant gap between the privileged and disadvantaged sections of society, thus widening the socio-economic divide of the country.
Both! Governments and institutions should set a fee structure based on their facilities and services. For example, institutions with state-of-the-art facilities and excellent faculty should charge higher fees than institutions with limited facilities and average faculty. Furthermore, institutions should also consider the location of their campus, as the cost of living varies from city to city.
Additionally, scholarship and financial aid programs should be made available to students who cannot afford the fees. The government can fund these programs, private organizations and philanthropists who believe in the importance of education and its role in developing a country.
Finally, the government should regulate the education industry to ensure that institutions are not charging excessive fees and that the quality of education is maintained. This can be achieved through regular audits and inspections of educational institutions and imposing fines on institutions that do not comply with regulations.
Finally, setting up a responsible and appropriate fee structure for educational institutions in Pakistan is crucial to ensure that all students have access to quality education. It is the responsibility of the government, institutions and society to work together to bridge the gap between the privileged and the disadvantaged and create a more equitable society.