CM Baqar directs private schools to implement 10% 'free education' policy

Interim CM directs authorities and private schools to implement policy in 7 days; seeks report on matter

Rana Javaid
A teacher instructs students during class in Lahore on August 21, 2023. — Online
A teacher instructs students during class in Lahore on August 21, 2023. — Online

  • Interim CM takes "serious notice" of private schools' non-compliance.
  • Directs dept officials to immediately implement free education policy.
  • Strict legal action to be taken against violators, non-compliers.

KARACHI: In his bid to ensure quality education for disadvantaged students, caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar has instructed private schools to implement the "10% freeship" policy.

Following the implementation of the policy, students from disadvantaged backgrounds can avail the opportunity to access free-of-cost education in private schools across the provinces.

The chief minister's directives came after he was informed regarding the schools being non-compliant with the policy without any accountability.

The chief minister, according to a letter by the CM secretariat, has taken "serious notice" of the situation, directing the administrative department to take immediate measures for the implementation of the "10% statutory freeship" across the province's private schools within seven days.

The letter, addressing the secretary and director general private schools of the School Education and Literacy Department, cited Chapter IV Section 10 of The Sindh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2013.

Under the law, every private school/educational institution shall provide free education to 10% of its total number of children, while the law has been in force since 2013, private schools have failed to comply with it.

— Caretaker Sindh CM Maqbool Baqars letter
— Caretaker Sindh CM Maqbool Baqar's letter

The letter mentioned that strict legal action should be taken against those violating or failing to comply with the policy.

"Any non-compliance or inadequate compliance of the above policy would attract stern legal action against the responsible school administration," the letter read.

It stated that the private schools shall "provide free and compulsory education to such proportion of total strength of children admitted as mentioned hereinafter."

It added that private schools shall not admit less than 10% of disadvantaged students from the first grade to the subsequent ones.

The chief minister has directed the aforementioned officials of the Education Department to implement the law within a week, seeking the submission of a report in relation to the directives.