Update (November 19, 2019): The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has reportedly prepared a proposal detailing the mechanism for the relocation of private schools from the residential areas in Islamabad. As reported by a leading English daily, the proposal was drafted with consultation from a committee comprising representatives from CDA, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, Federal Board of Revenue, Federal Directorate of Education and Private Educational Institute Regulatory Authority.
The draft, which will be submitted to the federal government for final approval, proposes that educational institutions should utilise the 55 sites allocated for the construction of schools. Failure to do so would lead to plot cancellation. Moreover, the committee recommended giving schools at least a period of three years to relocate. It was also proposed that private schools should be allowed in Zones II, IV and V on private lands.
The Capital Development Authority, more commonly referred to as CDA, is finalizing a comprehensive policy to shift schools from residential areas in Islamabad, according to the reports published by local newspapers. The move comes after Islamabad High Court took up the matter and directed the regulatory body to revise its policies and device a mechanism to relocate educational institutes.
The existing CDA bylaws for schools do not allow private institutes to operate out of houses in residential premises. However, the number of such schools in the capital city is greater than 350.
The Capital Development Authority, which oversees planning and development work in the city, recently held a meeting at its headquarters to further discuss the matter. The representatives from the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) were also in attendance along with other officials.
The main purpose of the meeting was not only to finalize a framework for how to shift schools from residential areas but to also ensure that owners of all such institutes will be properly accommodated.
Moreover, the new CDA laws for schools in Islamabad will make sure that plots reserved for educational institutes are not allotted to any irrelevant person. As per the newspapers, CDA has directed housing societies in Islamabad to utilize such plots within the time period of three months.
The revised policy will also ensure that no one establishes a school inside a residential house in the future.
Since the existing CDA rules and regulations for the allotment of school plots were formulated in 2002, the meeting focused on how the by-laws should be updated to make the allotment process more transparent and effective.
These are some of the strategies to shift schools from residential areas in Islamabad that were proposed during the meeting.
Creating a Consolidated Database
The CDA has requested FDE and PEIRA to provide data pertaining to private schools in Islamabad that are operating out of residential houses. This will include the total number of such schools, their area size, where they are located and the number of students enrolled at the institute.
The Capital Development Authority will reportedly use this information to create a database. It will then review the size of available educational plots and allot them accordingly.
It is also important to mention that FDE will have to immediately construct schools once the plots are allotted.
Utilizing Buildings of Government Schools
Officials also proposed utilizing the buildings of government schools in Islamabad during the meeting to revise CDA by-laws for schools. Since most of these institutes have a lot of under-utilized space, it was suggested that they should be used to accommodate private schools.
Furthermore, it was also proposed that private institutes should be allowed to hold evening classes on the premises of government schools, granted they only offer morning classes.
Increasing the Capacity of Existing Schools
While the population of Islamabad has grown almost five times in the past 20 years, the number of government schools in the city has only increased from 393 to 423, according to a local English Daily. Since these schools could not accommodate the influx of students, private schools began to fill the gap.
While discussing the policy for CDA to move schools from residential areas, a suggestion regarding increasing the capacity of existing educational institutes was also put forward.
All stakeholders reportedly have a week’s time to submit their suggestions so that the new CDA policies for schools can be finalized.
Pros and Cons of Having Schools in Residential Areas
Are you wondering why the Capital Development Authority is shifting private schools from residential premises? Well, here are some pros and cons of having schools in residential areas that might answer your questions.
- Students in the area don’t have to travel far to reach their school.
- A well-known school in the neighbourhood can positively affect the value of your property.
- Houses located near schools see an influx of cars and buses during drop-off and pickup times, causing traffic jams at certain times of the day.
- Schools also produce a lot of noise, especially during the morning, recess and at the end of the day.
- Private schools operating out of residential houses rarely have enough space for sports or recreational facilities, which can be detrimental to students’ health.
- The proximity and reputation of a school can also have adverse effects on the resale value of your property.
CDA is expected to finalize its policy for shifting private schools from residential areas in Islamabad shortly.
On a side note, if you live in the federal capital, don’t forget to take a look at our pick of the best schools in Islamabad.
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