I run a private school in Islamabad, and here’s the truth behind summer school fees

Published: June 10, 2018
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In this picture taken February 18, 2013, Pakistani schoolchildren learn Chinese at a private School in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Those who are all daggers against private schools and are celebrating the Islamabad High Court’s decision to stop private schools from charging a summer fee, can stop reading because a private school owner is writing this blog. But then again, it might be worthwhile for you to hear the other side’s perspective too.

I find myself to be a very small player in the private school industry. A newbie, who perhaps four years ago might have been bashing private schools from the other side too.

Today, I am here not to make a case for myself but for the Citys, Roots, Beaconhouses, Headstarts, Supernovas, Educators, Siddeeq Publics and Chand Baghs; pretty much most of the private schools in our country.

We all hate private schools, don’t we? Exorbitant fees, windfall profits, incompetent teachers and lack of facilities. Such horrible places they are. Yet, our children are enrolled in private schools. Why don’t we send our children to government schools that have been established by our taxes?

Here is why:

On average, our government spends Rs1,412 per child per month on elementary education in government schools (food for thought: how much do you spend on eating out per meal?).

Whereas, the US spends Rs1,14,243, Australia Rs98,466, Sweden Rs1,15,016 and the UK Rs97,148. We are quick to draw comparisons between education in Pakistan and education abroad without realising that quality education is a costly commodity. From teacher training to resources, premises, administration, facilities, retaining good teachers, everything costs money.

Photo: World Bank

Even if I take purchasing power parity into account, any private school should be charging at least Rs35,000 to Rs42,000 per month to meet the quality standards of public schools in the US, UK, Australia or Sweden. Over here, we are talking about a 1:25 ratio and education for the masses. We are not even referring to private education abroad or special needs education, which doesn’t even come close to these estimates.

Despite paying 10 to 15% of what other governments pay per child, the quality of private school education in Pakistan competes closely with what is being offered in all these developed countries. We owe an entire generation of people who are doing well not only in Pakistan but also globally, to these private schools. We landed in Ivy Leagues, and Fortune 500s because of these private schools.

So many of us are now giving back because of our private school education.

If you still wish to complain about the fee, I know schools that charge Rs3,000 a month, and then I know those which charge Rs50,000 a month, and there are more than a 100 on the spectrum to choose from. Choose your pick as you do with Al Karam, Khaadi and Sapphire or with Haleem Ghar, Ginyaki and Serena.

Private schools are neither funded nor subsidised by the government. They indeed are taxed like any other business. Every school pays 33% income tax, 17% GST, 3% super tax, 6% Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI), 6% social security and heavy property commercialisation fees or commercial rents. They are established when people invest their hard earned money to build them and hence, have a right to a return on investment.

But is it fair to charge a summer fee? Unfortunately, schools are not magazine subscriptions which can be discontinued and renewed as per our liking. I can paint a picture for you to understand, using my own example. I have a small school of 160 students. During this summer, I have:

  • 36 teachers and admin members to pay salaries to
  • 12 support staff members to pay salaries to
  • A landlord who will certainly not be able to give a rent waiver to me
  • Internet, electricity and telephone bills and multiple online subscriptions to pay
  • Two international consultants to pay, who are working on the professional development of the teachers
  • Repairs, renovation, new furniture and new annual resources (books, notebooks, stationery, equipment, manipulatives and so on) to pay for.

For those who might be familiar with how schools work, summer brings no pina coladas for the team. It is one of the most work-intensive times of the year as we have to prepare for an entire academic year. I know for a fact that my school will close down if I do not charge the summer fee because my profit comes nowhere near to covering the stated costs. And I am sure, this narrative holds true for most private schools.

Here are some further stats that might help you understand the gravity of the situation better:

Under article 25-A, the Constitution states that it is the states’ responsibility to provide education. Yet, 40% of children in Pakistan are getting the education in 1,73,110 private schools across Pakistan.

In 1994, there were 393 government schools in Islamabad. Twenty-five years later, there are 422. However, the population of the city has increased much more during that time: 500,000 to 2,200,000.

There are already 22 million out-of-school children in Pakistan. This decision can potentially lead to the shutdown of 2,000 schools in Islamabad, adding 3,50,000 more children to the above-stated figure. Furthermore, 38,000 teachers may also lose their jobs.

It is justified to raise your voice against exploitation. If you want to fight, fight for quality education with respect to the amount you are paying (and not the quality that is being provided in the all-so-glamorous schools of Finland). Fight for teachers’ salaries. Every teacher should be able to earn what he or she would be earning abroad, after keeping the purchasing power parity into account, given the fee that you are paying and the student-teacher ratio the school is maintaining. Fight for teacher training, research and facilities, with respect to what you are paying. Fight to establish universities that give degrees in education. Rather than asking schools not to charge a certain fee, ask them to give you a value based on what you are paying. Most of all, fight for quality government schools.

Let’s not burn the private schools down. Let’s be grateful for the service that they are providing. Because if they don’t, who will?

Jaweria Sethi

Jaweria Sethi

The author is a LUMS alumna and the founder of Edopia, which is Pakistan's first progressive, democratic and green learning community, providing an alternative to traditional schooling. She tweets @EdopiaPakistan (twitter.com/EdopiaPakistan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Syed

    Ur article is illuminating on education and convincing, only I disagree is comparison with rich countries of world.Recommend

  • akif

    Dear Ms. Sethi,
    Thank you for a well researched, well argued opinion piece. All of this is likely to be correct and is conceded. You are a small player but let’s talk about the big players (who were very small to begin with). Anecdotal evidence may not be statistically valid, but it does point in some direction. A lifetime ago in 1981 to be exact, I was a small time ad agency executive who took the art work of a logo to the principal of a private school just starting out from a branch of a school system (probably owned by her sister). A few years later, when I had joined the government, the same school needed help to tide over with an official requirement. I got it done. Yet with my official salary being about a third of the entrance fee to the same school (probably close to Rs. 10,000 in 1990’s), I requested a waiver and got it. I got transferred abroad and when we came back the school had grown big. The waiver given earlier was denied this time even though I had my boss, the Commissioner Karachi, write a personal letter to the school. A few years ago, I met the lady owner whom I had met in 1981 once again. This time (in Saudi Arabia) she bought a Samsonite suitcase for about USD 900 (at a time when I bought a pretty decent suitcase of the same brand for under USD 100). Today the son of the school owner drives a Rolls Royce in Lahore Please tell me and tens of other struggling middle class parents (of whom I was one until not too long ago) how that is possible. A simple question, would you not agree?Recommend

  • akif

    …And yes, I forgot to mention the pitiful salaries given out to rookie teachers who are paid about the same amount as I pay my driver. IN many private schools teachers get paid less than the orderlies. There is no career progression and employment rules are generally absent. When some rule of law exists, this is highly biased against the teachers.Recommend

  • GH

    “There are already 22 million out-of-school children in Pakistan” that’s because Private school owners have made “School going an expensive trade” out of reach for many children. You are not running a charityRecommend

  • Muhammad Haris

    Most parents are aware of the fact that private schools dont run on fairy tears and leprechaun gold. The reason why parents make a fuss about Pakistani private school fees, is the lack of uniformity in the fee structure, the complete lack of tranparency in the miscellaneous charges, and the random fee hikes that pop up in during an academic year. In the end, yes private schools are a business, and yes they are suposed to make a profit, unfortunately they are not run like most business houses. If they were, surely they would have prepared budgets and forecasts, and would be able to manage the academic year within that budget. Random fee hikes during the school year are not what parents are expecting, yes when they sign up their child, they have studied the fee structure and have budgeted that into their finances, fee hikes regardless of how minute they may be, will cause alarm in any parent regardless of their economic standing.

    The second phenomena that is seen in Pakistan, is the complete lack of flexibility in the private school market. The reason being, that there are a lot of families who would never question the pricing structure, regardless of how ridiculous the price structure. Some might argue that the future of their children is more important than the right to question the pricing mechanism of businesses, but in the end I guess it just reflects the sad state of affairs of Pakistan, where the rich keep getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

    Coming back to the topic in hand, any parent in their right mind would want stability, and a fixed fee structure for an academic year, if you can provide that, then summer school fees are justified.Recommend

  • Hammad Haider

    Ma’am, you presented interesting comparison and analysis. I still believe, most of the top line private schools are charging fee not compatible to the quality of education and facilities provided to students.
    Secondly, it would have been more convincing, if practical example of income and expenditure of a school would have been included.
    I believe that teachers are also not being paid well in private schools.
    Al Karam, Khaadi and Sapphire are optional; education is not.
    Many parents sacrifice luxuries of life to give better education to their kids.
    RegardsRecommend

  • dr asadullah leghari

    Every facts and figures u provided is true
    But Plz consider
    1..is every school owner is hand to mouth ???? His expenses are Bearly equal to income?
    2..we are living in pakistan so ppl here are having low income …if he spend one third or one fourth of his salary on just education …can he manage health,shopping, social issues,and parent support by remaiming pay
    3..do the owner pay good pay to teachers????Recommend

  • Sami Thinker

    We should listen both sides. Comparing PVt schools with Govt is like comparing PT.v with Geo. 1 thing u missed is Absence of Govt teachers from scheduled classes and running pvt academies.Recommend

  • Sadia Khalil

    Sorry to differ: Assuming an average fee of Rs 28k per child per month, you earn ~Rs 4.5M (Rs 45 lac). After paying 36+12 employees, rent+utilities and taxes, I can assume that you still earn a profit of at least 35%. If so, then I only see you all as successful entrepreneurs considering per capita income in Pakistan. I agree that government in developed countries contribute huge to the primary education, but hey people there also pay heavy income taxes (more than what you mentioned). And how do you justify your right to earn heavy profits because of the negligence of government or insufficient quality education resources? Have you heard of the Urdu phrase: Ghalat-ul-aam?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Under article 25-A, the Constitution states that it is the states’ responsibility to provide education. Yet, 40% of children in Pakistan are getting the education in 1,73,110 private schools across Pakistan.

    The author has provided adequate justification for private schooling in Pakistan, but not the argument for higher fees being levied on pupils parents. There is the need for the Government to subsidise the private institutions or direct to the parents who opt for better quality private schooling.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Patwari

    Since the author brought up foreign countries, school districts in the US have
    a 10 month school calendar. Teachers salaries are negotiated on this 10 month
    school year. This includes Junior colleges [Intermediates] and universities.
    [however they are summer classes, which is an entirely different subject]
    Teachers are paid for 10 months only. They do not get paid when the school is
    closed for the summer vacation. They are on their own for two months. That
    includes the support staff. [Because what will they be supporting when their is
    no work generated?]
    However, circumstances may be different in Pakland. And perhaps an entirely
    different way of dealing with school/college culture and administration.Recommend

  • Gold Ruyondo

    But why can’t governments establish better schools than private ones? what is happening here in pakistan is everywhere in the world.Recommend

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    Private education is a private business. Although it’s against National interest but this is how it’s working in Pakistan. Government is providing no support and no subsidy except some bureaucratic overlook, therefore Government should never interfere in it. Let the market decide on the basis of supply/demand and quality of product basis.Recommend

  • M. S. Chaudhry

    There are other options available too. Whatever total fee you get in 12 months, divide it with 9 or 8 and that would be the new fee per month. Secondly, lay off all teachers, staff and students at the beginning of summer vacations and hire and re-admit them back at the beginning of new year. You can meet three months building and teachers retaining expenses with yearly admission fee. Although implementation of such strategies will cost parents more but it will satisfy some quarters who have no clue how private businesses work. Like any other business, private education has same principals which other commercial entities must follow.Recommend

  • Kasim

    Sorry you didn’t get a concession but All schools provide means and merit scholarships. The demand obviously exceeds the availability, and sadly not every applicant benefits every time. Also, I live in Lahore and know all private school owners in Lahore, and not one of them drives a Rolls Royce. (Somebody would have to be completely retarded to drive a Rolls Royce even if they had the money, because they’d stick out like a sore thumb. I could be wrong, but I think the only Rolls Royces in Pakistan belong to Bahria Town.)Recommend

  • joji

    While there are many things I’d like to point out in the article. For now I’d only say that I and many others like me succeeded in Ivy leagues and Fortune 500 companies despite of our private school education, not because of. My private school was one of the most known for and expensive one in Karachi and h*** if it prepared me for the real world. The only thing I learnt in my years there was how to rote learn.Recommend

  • UZI

    A really biased piece here for perpetuating the vicious cycle of private school mafias that charge exorbitant fees for sub-standard education. It’s pathetic how you failed to mention teachers not even teaching in the schools (City, Beaconhouse, etc.) and advertising their private tuitions which substantially add to the cost of education.

    If the private school teachers were imparting quality education and extra help for children after-school, then I would have stood for them. However, private schools have become a thriving business with the bottom-line of exorbitant profits.

    You have also conveniently glossed over quality schools under TCF and SEF that are imparting quality education at a very low cost, and are accessible to remote rural areas unlike the big ones that serve the affluent urban areas primarily.

    The key lies in developing public-private partnerships for quality education that is also affordable. It is inconceivable for many parents to even think of sending their children to schools like City, Beaconhouse and probably Edopia.

    Finally, do not pat yourself on the back for attributing Pakistani children going to Ivy Leagues and doing well on high cost private schools. A lot of them hails from government schools and low-cost private schools too. The case for public-private partnership and low cost private schools seems more appealing than perpetuating the vicious cycle of high cost private schools that also require extra cost for after school tuition.Recommend

  • Yasir Sheikh

    Schools are always operated on the basis of No Profit No Loss. In fact they get donations from different corporate and government sector. In Pakistan, school and university businesses is the biggest profit margin industry. That is why majority of the schools have outperformed (more than 50% growth annually). School charge each and every penny from parent’s pocket. From tuition fee to sports, drama acts, fun fair, library, notice photocopies, sports fund, trips and even cultural affairs is charged from parents pocket. School admin not even increase school fee but also increase these charges annually. There is a big question mark on this.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    since you brought up US districts, then you are wrong in stating that teachers are paid for 10 months, instead they are given a choice of taking their 12 month salary in 10 months. so they are paid for 12 months.

    secondly, most of the school renovations, and work and planning for next year happens in the summer vacations. so school is pretty much on.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    why dont you send your children to 1000 rupee per month private schools instead. No one is forcing you to pay 28000 per month?Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    why is he paying 1/3rd on school fees, just choose a cheaper school. i was sending my son to roots which was charging 14000 per month. I simply switched to a cheaper school and now i pay 7700.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    why dont you just change schools. I switched schools for my son because i was dissatisfied. found a cheaper and better alternative.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    most private schools are charging just 500/1000 rupee fees.

    beaconhouse, roots etc just probably cater to 10% students.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    its a business, stop complaining. most private school owners charge 500/1000 rupees a month. What you are talking about are elite schools.Recommend

  • Sadia Khalil

    Another lame excuse for ghalat-ul-aam. Instead of fixing the system, you are telling me to deprive my kids from their basic rights because I dare to criticize. Indeed, if I would be living in Pakistan, I would be sending my son to a reasonable govt. school as I also went to one. I didn’t invent Rs 28k number, I inquired about it at this school as the pre-K fee. Here, my son used go to public school with $31 per year in pre-K, where school provides free transportation, meal, EP service, and summer school. So my question to you why are you not contented to lower your profit down to 20%, and give a relief to parents in summer. Or even if you have to charge kids in summer, then provide summer camps and recreations.Recommend

  • Shade Khan

    I cannot appreciate how and why the court ordered such a thing. The school has all expenses to make during the summer break. So how to fund these? If no fees during summer, then fee for rest 9/10 months will have to be increased. Javeria’s narrative is convincing…at least for meRecommend

  • Patwari

    To be honest, your gibberish does not make any sense.
    You don’t have the slightest idea what you are writing about.
    You must be using “Punjab Logic’. Which is only decipherable
    to Gullu Butts and Bizarros. [from the Superman comics]
    Even the village idiot will tell you that planning is an ongoing
    process. Through out the year. Schools, colleges don’t wait until
    summer vacation months to cram it all in. Their Eureka! moments
    occur any time of the year, they do not wait for summer.
    Even teachers take vacations. They are lucky. Their jobs allows
    them two months off. [Or they can teach summer classes, courses,
    if they want to make some extra money.]
    Renovations and major upgrading aside, scheduled and preventive
    maintenance, repairs, are done throughout the school year. Or as the
    need arises. Not put on hold for summer.
    Hope this helps from someone who does business with Cook county
    LA county, and the Borough of Brooklyn.Recommend

  • Patwari

    That is her choice. She has her opinion. She is entitled to it.
    Plus she produced some hard hitting figures and numbers.
    Which you don’t like.
    If the govt. of Pakland has failed in providing decent schools,
    a decent education system, for it’s children, does that allow
    private schools, enterprises, thugs,carpetbaggers, to fleece
    and plunder the population? Since they are at the mercy of
    these privately run, money making factories. Absolutely not!Recommend

  • Patwari

    It’s a business. To fleece and plunder. But then in a democracy
    you have a choice, to send your children, to a cheaper school.
    Buying a $900 Samsonite suitcase or a Rolls Royce is the
    businesswoman’s prerogative. Difference is she owns schools,
    instead garment factories, sugar mills or restaurant chains.
    However some guidelines need to be set up. And are being set
    up,by the courts.
    To prevent these highway robberies. In these cases, you go dutifully
    every month to pay the installments. Since your children’s future is
    held hostage by these bandits.Recommend

  • Sadia Khalil

    Its a good business strategy but it lacks empathy. I will never understand the logic, but that’s how it is, so let it be like that.Recommend

  • Sadia Khalil

    I would have done it, if I would be in Pakistan. However, this is not an excuse against this exploitation.Recommend

  • Sadia Khalil

    What’s your problem if people are talking of reforms and regularities in elite schools? You can stay happy by paying Rs. 7700, but let people talk about a bigger issue.Recommend

  • Muhammad Osama

    Nice articleRecommend

  • Shazli

    With due respect the schools that are on a scale of 20k a month or almost having 50k over pupil in their premises as example will surely become millionaire and billionaire
    over night with this 20 plus 20k from each student for not giving any facilities and usually which school is providing new furniture every month no school gives appraisal to teachers and staff every year.. well on the regular months they earn enough to manage all expense that u mentioned…

    Even if u talk abt a lower fee scale institute they dont usually work on renovations or payscale for teachers is very less too..

    and usually alll these schools do not remain on rent for long as they earn million a month…

    And lastly on Islamic point as well u must not receive money for no service.. or with no investment…

    I still dont get the justification..

    This is my school of thought no argument from any1…Recommend

  • Salman

    We could “let the market decide” what price a car should be, or any other luxury.
    You cannot “let the market decide” the prices for basic human needs. Education being the foremost basic human need. You cannot allow extortion on the basis of free market theory.
    However, no two schools provide the same level of service for the same cost/profits. Such things should be regulated.
    I would suggest a rating system for each school, which can then be tied to the maximum fee they can charge.Recommend

  • Zainab Abdullah

    The heading of the article shows as if its totally justifiable for private schools to charge summer fees. Well the Beacon and City at many places actually own their school buildings so they don’t pay any rents as such and even if they do, the expenses are fairly covered by the fees paid by students.
    Seondly. its not justifiable even for small schools to charges Rs. 5000-8000 per month and pay only Rs. 15000 to the teachers in a class of more than 35 students.Recommend

  • Zainab Abdullah

    Agree!Recommend

  • sara afridi

    Facts to ponder. As for magazine subscriptions, even those need a re registration when we want to subscribe again. Will parents be willing to pay a readmission if they want summer fee waiver?
    Also to all those who feel schools should cut down their profits please know that pvt schools are not here to provide a social service… they are not non profit organizations.Recommend

  • https://www.aksgar.me Asif Naqvi

    Why are we comparing a third world country to first world country education system for cost?

    Generally, these private schools in Pakistan, despite charging hefty/western-countries like fee, are not equipped equally with modern equipments and well trained teachers?

    The cost of running private schools is way way too cheap in Pakistan than in those western countries, yet the teachers are poorly paid. We know why most of the teasing staff is female. Also, the cost of education in first world countries is based on teachers’ salaries paid in those countries that is too high when converted in rupees that the local private schools don’t even pay to their headmasters/headmistresses.Recommend

  • Rabia Jamal

    Well said ! I hope that everyone can understand this issue and instead of bashing private schools ask government to take some steps to increase the quality of education in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Fahad Yousuf

    Madam, you are absolutely right. I have also a relation with educational system of more than 5 years. I fully support your statement that schools have to cover all the expenditures even in these vacations, so fee charging is fine. It is unfortunate that the CJP is busy.

    As far as education system is concerned, I think schools are rightfully collecting these fees to cover their expenditures. Whereas the van drivers are very unfair in this regard, they are earning much more as compared to other months by driving their vans for picnics and parties during vacations, still they pressurize us for the van fee.Recommend

  • Nouman

    Its only after reading eloquent arguments by pretty entrepreneurs, I get really zealous about free market economy rights of kidnappers, ransom collectors, thugs and badmaasshs. Surely there is a vacuum there( need) and they provide a service for which the rich lot can save themselves from( by paying a price)………It is this warped logic of neo-liberal economists and capitalist extortionists that I feel crime syndicates should be given free hand to loot from those who are milking the system.Recommend

  • Saad Salman Zia

    What you are suggesting will result in a collapse of the teaching system. Most of the teachers are not highly paid and will resort to teaching in their own academies instead of schools if you lay them off every 10 months. That is a disastrous scenario for any private business. While the fees are exorbitant, private businesses should not be curbed or stifled because their public counterparts do not bother to keep up with them.Recommend

  • Nauman bb

    Private schools are providing an important service, and if the government schools were up to standard there simply would be no need for private schools. I agree with the author that the government needs to improve the quality of education provided at its schools. Until we get amazing government-run schools, we must support private schools so that they can fill the gaps left in our education system.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    still dont get it, why are you sending your children to this school? send your kids to a 1000 rupee per month, or any other cheaper school.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    that is how private enterprize works, dont buy their product if you think it is overpriced and the school would shut down.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    what i dont get is, why are you sending your kids to schools run by thugs, who is forcing you. there are cheaper alternatives.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    the solution is if people could overcome their class complexes and start sending kids to govt schools and started showing ownership of govt schools. masla ye hae k log kya kahain gae k bacha beaconhouse mein nahin balke aik sarkari school mein parhta hae.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    90% of the buildings and land are rented or leased or mortgaged.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    just saying private enterprize is a free option. dont send your kids to these schools, thats how they make money, get it. find another option, move to another school. trust me if you stop sending kids to these schools, they will go bankrupt and close down. You dont have a right to reform them, but you have the right to stop paying them and make them go bankrupt. Private schools are also not a monopoly so there is fierce competition, and all sorts of niche markets, from matric/fsc to O/A level schools to IB schools. Just find your fit.

    unless its a class complex, “mera bacha agar headstart nahin gya tau log kya kahein gae”. there is an islamabad convent right next to headstart, it is 1/10 th the cost.

    If somebody is selling a suzuki mehran for 20 lacs, then dont buy it. or if you cant afford a mercedez benz then stop complaining that it is expensive.Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    who is robbing you here? you are the one who is paying, why dont you switch to a cheaper option and stop paying. try it, it works.Recommend

  • Humza

    Why can’t you just accept that someone has corrected you? Anywhere in North America and Western society, teachers are paid for the school year and for summer holidays. So you are wrong when you say they are not paid in North America for the summer months. You may be using ” Hindustan logic” of Modi where you want to deny an obvious fact like rewrite the Muslim history of Asia and India when you lose an argument or want to ignore facts. In your case you don’t know that teachers in the West get paid for the summer and it is one of the main attractions for people entering the teaching professions ( summers off !) Some teachers will even pick up extra jobs in summer tutoring to make extra money. People have the option to choose between schools and the mistake the private schools are making is not to spread the summer fees into the costs of the students during the school year so it doesn’t show up as summer fees. This is how private schools in the West do it.Recommend

  • AJ

    Very interesting topic and I’m glad to see informative debate in the comments. My concern is that I have heard that most of the private schools, even the big fish, pay very low salaries to the teachers.

    The information of how much money is spent on education in developed countries is interesting but please don’t forget the taxes being paid by people to support the system.

    My relatives who are recently employed government teachers in Punjab mention about the educational reforms in governmemt schools so hopefully things will change and parents will send their chikdren to public schools in near future. My parents sent me to public institures and I think they made a very good decision.

    If you are a parent, please don’t be afraid of sending your child to public institutes. In my experience, a student can learn anywhere with positive support of parents/guardian.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Well, you should be reading the comments again,…SLOWLY.
    Before you answer. Keep a dictionary handy.Recommend

  • Patwari

    You can save more even money, if you send your son to a madrassa.
    No fees. Free food. Well, free room and board.
    He will just have to learn by rote. They even teach how to count,… too.
    Lal Masjid is accepting applications.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Lilliputians House charge even less. Brobdingnagians a tad more.
    Gulliver’s House is much much better though.Recommend

  • Sane

    I know owners of at least two schools in Karachi with a medium profile. Every year they buy property worth millions. They don’t have any other source of income. How is that. You, yourself said that education is ‘Industry’. You sell education as a commodity like vegetable, meat etc. We are fleeced by meat, vegetable vendors and also by education vendors.Recommend

  • Sane

    Best business in Pakistan is selling education. Parents can’t stop even protest about anything relevant to school. Instead they are compelled to pay as much fee as demanded by Education Vendors (school owners).Recommend

  • Samzz

    You need to have an annual taxable income (i.e. after deducting most of your expenditure) of more than half a billion to pay super tax. Do private schools in pakistan really earn this much?Recommend

  • Jai

    Nice assessment. I completely agree with your analysis!Recommend

  • Fahad Hameed Ahmad

    well, private/elite/fancy education like IB, O/A levels is not your fundamental right.Recommend

  • Muhammad Haris

    Instead of typing the same comment over and over again on every comment, you could just agree to disagree, seeing that your solution is the same as the “why don’t they leave then” response given by ex-PM Gillani. What would you do when the “cheaper” school shuts down or starts following the same strategy? change schools again? Understand the issues people are discussing above, and if you cannot contribute, everyone already knows your stance, so just leave it at that.Recommend

  • Asif Khan_47

    I live in the U.S for some reasons my two daughters go to Roots in ISB. Inshallah soon they will be coming here in the U.S to live but just looking at the curriculum is just downright foolish. They teach Chinese, how the teacher reads Chinese in English transliteration while putting unwarranted pressure on the students and their parents to learn it. Besides the fees the teachers have no clue as to what they are teaching.Recommend

  • JAWAD

    i as teacher who has worked most of his life in private schools will say the article is a bit misleading .
    most private schools dont pay salaries of summer vacation to teachers .this money goes into their own pocket .Some private schools have a policy that they dont pay salary of vacation during first working year of teacher,they say we will pay you salary when you have worked here for more than a year.Thats their strategy of getting the salary of teacher into their pockets.they hire teacher and he doesnt get paid salary of summer vacation then in next year before second summer vacation hes fired on some flimsy context and the process starts again with another teacher.Thats how they profit.
    repair renovation, new annual resources thats crap excuse .i have never seen a private school doing any repair or getting new annual resources in summer vacactions.
    the writer claimed “the quality of private school education in Pakistan competes closely with what is being offered in all these developed countries” .
    thats a very hollow claim by writer .the quality of education is such that we are preparing a generation of students who are shallow , materialistic , with no imagination and no skills to utilize their education .ofcourse there are few students who are exceptional but what i have observed as teacher is that these exceptional students do well based on thier own desire,passion to be better and exceptional ,the credit of being exceptional doesnt go to private schools and teachers ,it is solely to efforts of these students .But most students who come out of private schools they have just memorized info and they dont have skills to utilize this info and they are fond of shortcuts meaning dont want to work hard .so to say that students coming out of private schools are such that they compete with those in developed countries is grossly misleading .
    Yes i concede that private schools have to pay rent , electricity bill in these summer vacations but that doesnt imply that they are entitled to force parents to pay up the whole fee of summer vacation . if the fee per month is 3000 then during summer vacation schools should get the third of original fee i.e 1000 per month so that they can pay rent , bills .so for 3 months vacation they may charge 3000 not 9000 i.e 1000 per month .Recommend

  • Power Master

    This is Godfree enterprise
    Urbanites of Karachi n Punjab under JI worked hard to destroy public sector
    Dont complain
    Sow n reapRecommend

  • Abdul Rehman

    Individuals, not to mention their personal competencies, owe so many constraints; so, in my opinion, the probability and possibility, to assure quality education, can be boasted, specifically, through government and trusted schools.Recommend

  • Ilyas

    AgreedRecommend

  • Ilyas

    we have discouraged the governmental sector and encouraged the private sector. we are responsible other wise the situation would be on reverse.Recommend