ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association (APPSA) on Monday rejected the government’s decision of reopening schools from September 15, and announced opening of educational institutes from August 15, without the government approval.

A national conference of private schools associations was held at the National Press Club here on Monday.

The conference was organised by National Association for Education Pakistan (NAFE) and Private Schools Network.

The participants discussed the situation created due to the closure of schools.

Later, a joint press conference was addressed by the leaders of the organisations including President Hidayatullah Khan, Dr Afzal Babar, Malik Abrar, Zahid Dar, Zafaran Elahi, Amjad Ali Shah, Sheikh Mohammad Akram, Iftikhar Ali Haider, and Kashif Mirza.

The office-bearers stated that the coronavirus spread had slowed down and cases were also on a decline.

Students have had to suffer an educational loss as schools and colleges remain closed for the past around six months.

They announced to open educational institutes from August 15 across the country.

The participants stated that the closure of educational institutes by the government was a violation of Article 18 of the Constitution, causing educational loss to 50 million students.

“We repeatedly demanded of the government to reopen all educational institutes with security measures.”

No action has been taken, they said, adding that 90 percent private educational institutes are in rented buildings, and due to non-collection of fees, the institutions are not in a position to pay rent and utility bills. Hidayat Khan, president of the association, said that all private schools across the country would reopen from next month.

He said that the schools were unable to bear their expenses, and if remained closed for another two months, most of the schools would be closed.

He said that if the government did not let them open the schools, they would start a long march to Islamabad and stage a protest. “The date given by the government to reopen schools is too late,” the president said, adding that the losses faced by students and teachers were getting worse with each passing day.

Khan further stated that the association had tried to negotiate with the government but they did not listen.

“If the government tries to stop us, we will organize a ‘million march’,” Khan warned. He further criticised the federal government, calling it “incompetent”.

“We will open schools in line with the SOPs,” he said.

“Madrassas have been opened, and they have even conducted examinations,” he further stated.