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Good education becomes exclusive right for rich in Pakistan

Lahore: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said majority of privately-owned educational institutions are hindering upward social mobility of the poor.

Setting up a private educational institution has become one of the most lucrative businesses in Pakistan with little focus on quality of education, imparting necessary skills and teaching basic values, it said.

The institutions for elite are just focused on minting money, attracting youth and making careers, not minds, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

These institutions guarantee achievements with little experience, great success with no vision, and little considerations among students for those who are not fortunate enough, he added.

As majority of elite institutions are engaged in cream skimming without realising that they are promoting objectionable values and inequality in the society, he said.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal observed that the desire of the parents to spend more to secure a good future for their children has not only contributed to the windfall of elite institutions but also resulted in emergence of a new class of education tycoons in the country.

These institutions being run by influential politicians and businessmen have successfully managed to double and triple their profits with little regard to their responsibility towards society.

It is disappointing that many leading schools would milk parents on one pretext or others but would not offer scholarships and other support to needy students as it is considered a loss to the business, he observed.

He said that there is a great demand for managers who can ensure smooth operations while paying little to teachers, find new ways to generate extra revenue and squeeze students in order to extract maximum profit.

The monthly fee in the so-called prestigious schools should not be more than the minimum wage and they should not be allowed to accommodate more students than their capacity, he said.

He noted that the mushroom growth of school chains and their swelling assets is evidence enough that education has become an attractive business which is thriving on exploitation of masses therefore authorities to take immediate corrective steps.

Government needs to regulate private sector schools, make disclosures mandatory and encourage them to list on the stock market to pave way for public investment which can stop some malpractices and help transform society positively, said Dr. Mughal.

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