The federal government has taken notice of the directives issued to abolish 7,300 private schools, academies and colleges from 42 cantonment boards in the country by December 31.
A decision on the issue has been postponed, and a high-level committee, comprising of members from the National Assembly (NA), has been set up to find a permanent solution to this important issue. The committee will hear the complaints of all private school organisations, and the cantonment board administrations will present their views on the matter. The Federal Ministry of Education has also agreed to play an active role.
All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) President Abrar Ahmad Khan, APPSMA Executive Member Col. (retd) Fawad Hanif and APPSMA Advisor Irfan Talib, have called for an amendment to the Cantonment Boards Act, 1924.
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The president said that educational institutions were not commercial endeavours, but social service institutions. The removal of schools from cantonments across the country will jeopardise the academic future of 1.2 million children studying in them.
Khan added that the time between December to January was crucial for the education system. But with the closure of schools on December 31, the doors of education would be closed for all the students studying in them. He said that 0.7 million teachers employed in these institutes, including 0.3 million non-teaching staff would face unemployment, which would also be a substantial educational loss.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2021.