In Pakistan, power and money can not only buy you almost everything, it can also make sure that if someone rattles your cage, you can get even. The Principal of Aitchison college Agha Ghazanfar has been removed from his post, allegedly for not allowing nepotism under his watch and refusing to unfairly grant admission to the descendants of the rich and famous. Whether one takes this story at face value or not, one thing is clear. No institution is free from corruption and prejudice.

Aitchison College holds admission tests for their primary level classes every year. The admission test question paper was leaked a few days before the exam and hence the college administration had to create a new question paper just one day prior to the test. Some of the children of the most influential families of the country were to appear in this test. However, the principle refused to grant them admission, given that they failed to obtain enough marks to be put on the merit list. The marks sheets were made public, credit for which should be given to Ghazanfar to make the process as transparent as possible.

Just because Ghazanfar was terminated in the proper way, with the board of directors deciding the fate, it does not make this decision acceptable. Nepotism has become a mindset, one that is regularly seen amongst parents queuing at the Aitchison admissions office.

The Aitchison admission process has been problematic for years now. What constitutes “merit” for a four year old? What is even asked in these exams, that separates one toddler’s intellectual capacity from another? At the core, isn’t getting into school at this age a matter of demand and supply? If the Principal has been fired for not admitting a few political babies, it is too harsh a sentence. There are other schools in Lahore, some that might even provide better education (Gasp!). The admissions process has only brought ill repute to one of the oldest schools in Pakistan, nothing more.