MANDI BAHAUDDIN  - The teachers of District Jinnah Public School and College are being forced to tender apology in writing with an undertaking that they in future would not resort to agitation against the college’s Board of Governors. To this effect they are further asked to file affidavit failing which their services would be terminated, it is learnt.

Sources said that the teachers were being forced to furnish affidavits that would be used as legal documents against resigned principal Col (r) Ashiq Hussain. About two months ago, Ashiq Hussain had resigned as a protest against alleged interference by the board members in the college affairs and refusal of executive body to raise the teachers’ pay. The students and teachers had staged a protest in the college premises against the board members demanding refusal to accept the principal’s resignation.

They had also protested against the board members interference and called for disbanding the board as its members were “spoiling atmosphere of the college by pressuring the principal”. DCO Imtiaz Niazi who is chairman of the board had taken notice of the matter and terminated services of seven teachers and accepted resignation of the principal as well.

The situation turned critical as the decision irked the students and their parents. On directions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, CM inspection team Chairman Major (r) Shah Nawaz came to the school and held an inquiry. The inspection team recorded a statement of the ex-principal and other sacked teachers who alleged that some members of the board pressured the principal to enrol teachers of their choice. When the principal refused, these members turned against him. They also alleged that some members committed malpractices while purchasing vehicles for the school. On the other hand, the board members alleged in their statements that the former principal had demanded increase in pay and when his demand was not accepted he threatened to resign. Parents of students deposed that the principal had been running the school for the last 11 years and worked with dedication and boosted the college image. The students and their parents were completely satisfied with his performance.

Some teachers seeking anonymity said that the board members wanted to punish the teachers who raised voice for increase in their pays. They demanded that the result of inquiry should be made public and the persons responsible for indulging in financial irregularities should be punished. Harassing the teachers to curb their voice for rights is injustice, they said.

Nadir Khan Advocate and Arshad Luk Advocate whose children study in the college said that with interference of some members of the Board of Governors, the school’s standard was decreasing. They further said the revenue officers of the district are members of the board thus they behaved with the principal and teaching staff as they treated the public with regard to revenue matters. The interference in college affairs has gone to the extent that government officers go to school to decide even small issues, they said.

When contacted, acting Principal Faraz Shah said that the affidavits were being taken from the teachers on the order of the DCO and he enjoyed complete support in his decisions what he called being taken for the progress of the school. He also denied the allegation of threatening the teachers.