Why Are You Paying School Fees: Your Constitution Says You Don’t Need To!
CPDI’s petition admitted in Islamabad High Court
Centre for peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has filed a petition under Article 199 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan seeking free and compulsory education for children aged 5 to 16 as stipulated by Article 25 of constitution and has challenged fees collected by schools under different heads. The petition has been admitted by the honorable court today.
Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, Executive Director of CPDI explaining the reason of filing the petition said that the government schools across the country including those under the direct jurisdiction of the Federal Government continue to require students to pay fee and other education related charges of various types, which include, among others, admission fee, magazine fund, PTA fund, student leaving certificate fee, contribution for student fund and examination related fee or charges, despite the fact that Article 25-A of the Constitution specifically and explicitly says that the State shall provide free education and, therefore, no education related fee or charges can be levied upon the students.
He maintained that by charging students under various heads and by not providing free and compulsory education to all children of 5-16 years of age in the ICT and other Federal Areas, the Federal Government is committing a violation of Article 9, 14, 25-A and 37 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Petition further maintains that the right to education can also be inferred from several fundamental rights like the right to life (Article 9), Human dignity (Article 14), right to freedom of speech and expression (Article 19) and right to information (Article 19-A). Justice Riaz Ahmed of Islamabad High Court has ordered Federal Directorate of Federal Education and Capital Administration and Development to explain their respective positions on this matter.