LHC Directs Govt to Establish Rules Ensuring “Free Education” in Private Schools

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) has instructed the Punjab government to create regulations to ensure private schools comply with the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014. The law, enacted 10 years ago, aims to provide free education to children aged 5-16.

Justice Raheel Kamran Sheikh expressed concern over the government’s failure to establish rules for the implementation of the act, despite the constitutional obligation to provide free and compulsory education to all children. The judge noted that the private education sector, which benefits from the government’s inaction, has a responsibility to provide education to disadvantaged children.

The court heard a petition filed by a private school in Sahiwal against the denial of a registration certificate. The judge allowed the petition and directed the government to ensure the school’s registration and the Sahiwal education board to register its students for exams.

The judge also ordered the government to frame rules regarding the criteria for determining disadvantaged children, payment of vouchers, and record-keeping, as required by the law. A compliance report must be submitted within 30 days.

Acknowledgement: Reported by Dawn on 14-02-2024

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