Private schools that increase the tuition fees by more than 5 percent per annum will have to reimburse the extra amount they charged, stated the Sindh education department.The education department supported its statement by quoting an order issued by the Sindh High Court (SHC) on September 3 in which the court prohibited private schools from increasing their tuition fee more than 5 percent. The education department further stated that registration of those schools which fail to return the extra charged amount to parents or student’s guardians will be cancelled. Earlier on September 3, a three-judge bench consisting of Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Ashraf Jehan gave their verdict on a petition filed by parents regarding private school fee hikes. The bench ruled that an increase of more than 5 percent in the tuition fee charged by schools is illegal.During the hearing, petitioner’s counsel said that the salaries paid to teachers did not even make up half of school overheads. The counsel said that school earnings should also be considered along with school expenditure. The additional advocate general argued that an increase in school fee had to do with basic rights. “Power to raise school fees should reside in the hands of the provincial government,” he added.The bench then announced its judgment declaring an increase of more than five per cent as illegal.Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.