Private schools want regular syllabus revision
* Association demands tax rebate, removal of education minister
LAHORE The All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association arranged an education conference on Saturday which urged the government to revise the school curriculum regularly.
Delegates from across the country attended the conference, where Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri and Punjab Education Minister Mian Imran Masood were guests of honour.
Many issues including the grievances of the private institutions were highlighted in the conference. The association officials regretted that they were not being recognised for their services in promoting education even considering the poor condition of government institutions.
Addressing the conference, Mr Kasuri praised the role of private schools in promoting education in Pakistan. He said the United Nations had reported a “brain drain” in Pakistan in 1980s and 1990s, but that was not the case anymore because of private schools. He promised his help in solving their problems, like tax exemptions.
Mr Masood praised the conduct of the conference and private schools’ services in promoting the education in Pakistan. He said syllabus revisions were important because there was always room for improvement. He said the government would soon reveal the changes made in the syllabi at a meeting of members of the National Assembly.
He praised Federal Education Minister Zubaida Jalal and Dr Haroona Jatoi for their services in revising the curricula.
Association President Adeeb Jawadani demanded tax rebates and the removal of the federal education minister, curriculum wing advisor and Punjab Textbook Board chairperson to end the curriculum controversy in Pakistan.
Other speakers said Pakistan could only reach the level of a developed country if it raised its literacy rate. They criticised the government for claiming the literacy rate had gone up from 46 percent to 75 percent, saying there was no proof this was true.
They said many schools had been closed because of high taxes. The social security tax was abolished by the High Court but the matter was pending in the Supreme Court. They said private schools should be charged for electricity as domestic rather than commercial users. They said private schools in Rawalpindi had to pay Rs 500 per month for streetlights.
They demanded a tax exemption for the first five years a new private school ran, as was given by the Shahbaz Sharif government. They urged the government to reduce the dropout ratio at primary schools.
Representatives from Sindh and NWFP demanded that programme like ‘Parha Likha Punjab’ should also be launched in their provinces and complained that Punjab was being given a bigger share of resources. They condemned the government for ending the charge of summer vacation fees, saying though schools were closed they needed money to pay utility bills and staff salaries. staff report