PESHAWAR: On the direction of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, the first meeting of the committee for resolving the problems of private schools and formulating future strategies was held on Tuesday at Committee Room Civil Secretariat. At the meeting, the office bearers of Private Schools Education Network (PEN) expressed that the private schools have been affected by the Corona situation and shared views over attendance of school teachers and administration staff, tax exemptions for schools and soft loan demands from the government for private schools. Minister for Education Akbar Ayub Khan, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Excise and Taxation Ghazan Jamal, Secretary Education Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry, Managing Director Private Schools Regulatory Authority Tashfeen Haider and President Private Schools Education Network Saleem Khan, Fazlullah Daudzai, Anas Takrim and other officials attended. The members of the committee agreed to allow 10% of the total teaching staff for online classes and 10 employees of the administration staff to attend the schools so that the school affairs could be run smoothly and also prevent wastage of precious time of the students. Regarding soft loans to private schools from Frontier Education Foundation, Minister for Education Minister and other members of the committee said that if the Foundation wants to amend the Ordinance to deal with the emergency situation and then get formal approval from the Board, the Education Department should make recommendations for the Foundation adding that special care to be taken of all rules and regulations. Regarding tax exemptions, at the meeting it was decided that private schools have been given tax exemptions in many places in the budget and no additional burden or tax has been imposed on them while it was also hinted that committee consider their issues and will decide in accordance with the law. Regarding the participation of private schools in the Ehsas program, Minister for Education Akbar Ayub Khan said that special talks would be held with Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood in this regard. He said that students of universities were benefiting from the Ehsas program adding that the federation will extend hand if there is no legal complication. The meeting also decided that all private schools would be tax registered. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the next meeting would be held on Monday in which all the recommendations would be finalized and the report would be sent to the Chief Minister.
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