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Punjab Government Instructed to Establish Guidelines for Free Education in Private Schools

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has told the provincial government to make clear rules based on the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014. The goal is to make sure that private schools follow the law.

Punjab Government Instructed to Establish Guidelines for Free Education in Private Schools

Justice Raheel Kamran Sheikh is worried because it’s been ten years since the law started, but there are still no rules. He says private schools were supposed to help disadvantaged children get an education, but instead, they benefited because the government didn’t take action.

The judge spoke about this while deciding a case about a private school in Sahiwal that was denied a registration certificate. Justice Raheel Kamran Sheikh said that every child has the right to free and required education, and the government has to make sure it happens.

The Beaconhouse School System in Okara went to court because they were denied a certificate to register with the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education in Sahiwal. They also couldn’t allow their students to take the board’s exams.

The school’s lawyer said that the District Registration Authority punished them even though there were no clear rules under Section 13(b) of the Punjab Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2014. This section talks about what private schools need to do for free education.

The CEO of the Registration Authority said that despite the government not making any rules, some big schools in Okara still followed the requirements. He promised that if the school provided the needed information, the Registration Authority would register the school. Justice Sheikh agreed with the school and cancelled the decisions made by the Registration Authority and the commissioner.

He told them to register the school if they met all conditions except those in Section 13(b) of the Act. Also, the Sahiwal education board was told to make sure the students from this school could take their exams.

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Justice Sheikh also ordered the government of Punjab to make clear rules, like how to decide who disadvantaged children are or how vouchers are paid. The rules should also say how to keep records of children under this law. He asked for a report within a month to make sure everything is done.

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