CDA proposes policy to move private schools from residential areas on rental basis

Capital Development Authority islamabad

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad is proposing a new policy to address the issue of private schools operating in residential areas. The new policy would involve the CDA allocating plots of land to private schools on a rental lease basis. The CDA board will discuss this agenda item at their upcoming sixth meeting. 

Currently, private schools are required to purchase plots through a competitive process at market rates, while government schools are allotted plots at subsidized rates. However, the CDA has failed to move private schools out of residential areas, and around 400 private schools are still operating in these areas. 

Under the proposed policy, the CDA would facilitate the construction of purpose-built campuses by private schools by providing plots of land on a rental basis for 20 to 25 years. The CDA will receive monthly rent from the school owners, and schools will not charge fees beyond the agreed amount. 

The CDA has identified over 100 available plots in their sectors for private schools, including new ones. If the proposal is approved, the CDA expects to generate around Rs1 billion in annual profit. 

The proposal has faced criticism from some officials who suggest that plots should be auctioned at market value rather than rented out. They argue that running private schools has become a profitable business, and schools should not receive special treatment. 

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However, proponents of the policy argue that the CDA should facilitate the relocation of private schools from residential areas. A committee, comprising officials of the CDA, education department and other stakeholders, had previously proposed that private schools operating in residential areas be given three years to relocate. 

The committee had also proposed the opening of Montessori and daycare centers in every sector of the city, and the creation of new plots on the premises of school and college buildings. The CDA hopes that the new policy will help resolve the issue of non-conforming use of residential buildings and avoid further litigation. 

The proposed policy is based on input and consultation from the representatives of stakeholder departments, including the Federal Directorate of Education, Ministry of Education, Private Educational Institute Regulatory Authority, Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Interior, and the CDA. 

Overall, the CDA hopes that the proposed policy will help private schools move out of residential areas, facilitate the construction of purpose-built campuses, and improve the standard of education for students. The board will make the final decision on the policy in their upcoming meeting. 

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