MANDI BAHAUDDIN

Crisis that prevailed over the District Jinnah Public School and College (DJPS&C) for a week or so has over with the acceptance of ‘forced’ resignation of college principal Col (r) Ashiq Hussain and sacking of Vice Principal Iram Tahira, Admin Khyzer Hayat and few other female teachers for their alleged involvement in anti-school activities.

Reportedly, the District Administration increased 40% students’ tuition fee, four months ago. The administration also undertook to increase teaching staff pay accordingly but did not disburse the same which prompted the teachers protest against non-payment of raised salaries. Following the teachers demand, the Principal went to the DCO and demanded payment of increased amount of teachers’ salary.

At which the DCO turned furious and blamed him for financial malpractices. This irked the principal and he presented his resignation in protest. On return to the school, he told teaching staff that he had resigned against non-acceptance of demand for payment of increased salary.

This annoyed the teaching staff and they along with students boycotted the classes. They termed principal’s resignation as forced one and demanded that he should be allowed to continue service as his services were exemplary for the school. They blamed some members of board of governors for interfering in college matters and committing to financial irregularities in purchasing vehicles for the school.

They further alleged that board members pressurized the principal to recruit teachers on their intercession. When the principal refused to oblige they turned against him and started complaining to the DCO. The DCO held a meeting with members of board and accepted principal’s resignation.

He also sacked some female teachers including admin officer for boycotting classes. This sad episode has upset the parents, political and social circles here. In this connection a meeting of citizens’ forum was held to discuss the issue.

Addressing the meeting Sheikh Ikhlaq said the principal was an upright and capable administrator who managed college affairs in an excellent way during his stay of 11 years. The principal started from scratch and with his hard work and dedication raised the standard of education in the school. During last year the college showed the best results in the district, he added. He said four to five members were very close to DCO and they got teachers enrolled of their choice, ignoring the merit. Similarly they got admission of students with low merit. Principal was frequently forced to admit their unfair demands. These members being closer to DCO, spoiled atmosphere of the school. He further said that these members had no experience of school management and they were inducted in the board on political basis.

Meanwhile, PMA President Dr Tariq Chaddar said that to cover up financial irregularities, the DCO and members board forced the principal to resign. Former MNA Zafrullah Tarar said that District Public Jinnah School was a blessing for the people of the area but few members of board of directors in collaboration with the DCO had damaged reputation of the institution.

He suggested urged high authorities to replace present members with capable and honest persons to manage the school. He also demanded to restore the former principal and allow him to work till some suitable substitute is found. Otherwise education of students would suffer, he warned. He also demanded Punjab Government to hold inquiry in mismanagement of college affairs to punish those who are found involved in malpractices. It is injustice that without inquiry the teachers should sacked, he added. It may be mentioned that the school is managed under the supervision of Jinnah Public School Trust Mandi Bahauddin. A board of governors runs the day-to-day affairs of the school. It consists of Patron in chief, Patron, Chairman, and all members of trust and DPS principals. Practically it is being administered by district government.