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Et tu Brute? The rise and fall of Langlands School

G.D. Langlands

Zulfiqar Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, June 15: The decision taken by 97-year-old G.D. Langlands, the former Principal of Langlands Public School and College Chitral, to remove Carey Shofield as the principal has drawn lots of flak in Chitral with local people terming the move the last nail in the coffin of education in the backward area.

Background interviews with parents, students and some faculty members of the school by ChitralToday revealed that the move by the former Principal of the school to restore teachers who were removed for incompetence and alleged corruption was not aimed to serve the people.
They also questioned Langlands’ claim of being the sole owner of the school ignoring its board of governors, contribution of the locals, students and teachers as well as the local administration. The joint efforts to make it a reputed institution ended up in smoke with his recent drastic and arbitrary decision.
If you go into the history of the institution, in the early 90s a visionary bureaucrat Javed Majeed came as the Deputy Commissioner of Chitral. It probably was out of his jurisdiction to convert a government rest house into a primary school. But being a bold man, he ignored the formalities and laid the foundation of Sayurj Public School. Able Chitralis like late Waliur Rehman advocate advised him that Chitral lacked a good English medium school and it would be wonderful if he could get some English teachers here. The visionary Javed Majeed convinced visiting university students from England to take on the task. This further resulted in the search of a able Principal. This is how G.D. Langlands turned up at Sayurj Public School.
Langlands, who had ably served Pakistan in many good institutions, including Aitcheson College, was no doubt an asset to Chitral. Through his old students he channelized funds into the institution and raised its level. Langlands was also instrumental in sending many of the students to universities all over Pakistan. Chitral was indebted to him and when the proposal to change the name from Sayurj Public school into Langlands College came up there were not many objections to it. Unfortunately, old age caught up with Langlands. At the age of 90, he lost track of who is who in the institution yet hung on to the administration.

The school lost track, influential people were not paying fee, safarishy teachers were being appointed and taking salaries and going on long leave. The institution started rotting. It was G. D. Langlands himself who started searching for a successor and kept on delaying it. After three years of search, he finally came up with Carey Shofield and what a find she was.
Carey completely changed the institution into a disciplined no nonsense quality institution. The first people to fall in line were the influential people and boy did they clear their dues in a hurry some seven years pending as none were allowed to appear in an exam without that. Then she took on the safarishy teachers and put them through a test.
Teachers bunking classes ended up losing salary. No one was spared especially the influential while many poor hard working teachers rose up in the ranks alienating others with influence. This was the new Langlands College that Chitral was proud of. But this is Pakistan and politics plays up for those that have been in the seat for a while and they can so easily hoodwink a new political entity.

Thus G.D. Langlands at the age of 97 years turns up in Chitral in a state of mind where every day he inquires who is this person travelling with him – his very own escort. With old age, decisionally he is impaired and makes the most unkindest cut of all. With one stroke of the pen, he declares himself the owner of the school, dismisses Carey, reinstates the sacked teachers, asks who this person travelling with him is and leaves with his escort. No Mr G.D. Langlands the students of this institution unanimously say, a friend of this school has become its murderer, this is not how you run an institution.
They added that by restoring the teachers who were kicked out for incompetence, irregularities, etc., Langlands had not only tarnished his own image but also jeopardized the future of hundreds of students.

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  1. gv says

    As one of the earlier comments says- this school does not belong to anyone but the people of Chitral. Its sole purpose is to serve the children of Chitral not the teachers nor the school heads.
    The majority of the comments above clearly show that the people of Chitral support Carey Schofield and want her back as she is working in the best interests of the school and the people of Chitral.
    Moving from London to Chitral and experiencing a very different standard of living to which she is used to shows Ms. Schofield’s dedication to bettering the circumstances of the people of Chitral
    Reflecting on the comments above by Mr. Abdullah it seems he is much more concerned with benefitting himself than the people of Chitral.

  2. Sayurj says

    This a perfect example how individual ruin institutions in Pakistan. Here, a professional and committed lady took some hard decisions for collective benefit of us, the Chitralis. Yes for us, she has otherwise no stake to come all the way from the comfort of England to one of the impoverished region of a third world country. She wanted to develop the school as a perfect institution and had to take steps which were unavoidable. I have my all sympathies with those teachers who were removed, but they could have proved their worth by joining any of the dozens education institutions in the district. However, they resorted to the Pakistani style politics and conspiracies and see how quickly they have been able to get rid her. We owe an apology to this lady.

  3. Ava Tan says

    Being an ex-student myself I know how badly you ran this Mr AbduAllah
    You took advantage of your position and everybody knows what you have been doing
    All you do is spread extremism
    This is not your family business if you want to continue teaching go a head and join a different School and if you think there are alot of people who supports you, why don’t you open up your own place where you can do whatever you want
    Enough is enough you have to leave this place before you get kicked out by the people of chitral
    I appeal to all the ex and current students of the school to arrange a protest against this gentleman and get rid of him

  4. Hafiz Ullah says

    @Abdullah Sir, you should start your own business, it may be a school and college, if you and other ex-teachers are hardworking, efficient and brilliant; sky is the limit. We will pay you more fees than GD Langland School. But please do not humiliate lady principal and new teachers. We as parents have felt very positive difference in the present era than the earlier period when the school was in the hand of you people under the coat of Mr GD Langland.
    It is the School of Chitrli people for the Chitrali students. Many people have helped in the progress of this school, but they are not the owner of the school. We also request, Mr Langland that acts as retired principal and maintain his respect in the eyes of Chitralies. If he do help in bringing the lady principal back we will be more thankful to him
    We pay for the quality education with good discipline, so we want Ms Carey as Principal of School…. No old principal and no old teachers

  5. Suhail Shahzad says

    We want Carey Back…

  6. M.Iqbal says

    Bring back our Carey? Idress Hayat, the appeal is some how romantic..

  7. Wajahat Shah says

    There must be some issue which Langland knows better. And its also his right first as he is the founder of the institution. And the old teachers also had some rights as they are the old teachers and they have given their time as Langland has given his life to the institution. We just say that whatever is better for the institution should be made possible.

  8. Shahzada Idrees Hayat says


  9. Hakeem Ullah says

    He is the person who build this school.He can decide what is better for the school future.We all people of Chitral should support him.

  10. Awab Aali Ahmed says

    GD Langland is now old enough to run the school. he is both physically and mentally unfit… thats why we want Miss Carey Schofield back here

  11. Syed Sartaj Wali Shah says

    We want Carey back!

  12. Abdullah says

    Within two years carey schofield has proved herself as the most nonsense and persona non grata lady. This is absolutely nonsense to give credit to her for putting things right.By introducing afternoon sports session necktie blazer music concerts and white cap she has done nothing. Unfortunately this has been a common trend in the society to praise the corrupt ones and to criticize the honest people. She had no idea how to run an educational institution. It was she who terminated the most senior teachers and recruited the recommended (safarishi) inexperienced ones who can serve as an spy for her.The dedicated teachers who have sacrificed their careers for the sake of this institution have been termed as inefficient and incompetent which is an absolute lie. Starting from three thousand salaries with a meager annual increment their lives have remained from hand to mouth for more than two decades but instead of acknowledging their services false and stupid allegations have been labelled against them.
    Unfortunately the mouveau riche section of the society wants to impose a Brahmanic social strata in the area that is why they are praising the nothing achievement of carey. The fee charges have been doubled to deprive the poor students. Comparision should be made in this connection. Virtually she has converted the school into a business centre by charging an advance surcharge on advance payment. Heavy fines on minor offences is another tactic to grab money from the parents. On the contrary the school had been run on subsidized rates right from the beginning under the real philonthropist G.D.Langlands in order to give opportunity to the poor students which has been availed by them. The paper should have collected true data in this regard instead of publishing false information to astray the people.
    The successes of the school are not hidden from the people. Many of our students are serving in key posts in different fields.
    Carey was not deserving to be the successor of GD Langlands because both are totally different from each other. She was not a teacher that is why she was behaving with the teachers in a rough way. Because of her stubborn attitude the school has lost the services of half a dozen efficient and experienced teachers which can never be compensated. Actually she was here to destroy this institution by her obnoxious policies.
    Her attitude was reminding us of the colonial era. In order to gain false reputation she has introduced a stupid pay to the teachers based on her personal likes and dislikes totally ignoring the services of the senior teachers and unduely favouring the new ones.
    I will kill you. I hate you and so many other rubbish words used by her against the teachers shows her insanity. This is a brief description of her personality and the details can be given whenever necessary.

  13. Ahmad says

    A sad day for Chitral. Someone who tried to bring order and discipline to the Sayurj School has been shooed off. Now business as usual (indiscipline, financial embezzlement, lack of control) will resume. Don’t worry Mme Carey. You still have a vote in Chitral-from someone who never personally met you but met your work and your efforts for reforming the institution.

  14. Farhan Ahsan says

    Miss Carey Schofield did ameliorated the standard of school. But that doesn’t mean I support her aggressive strategy against those devoted teachers who tendered their services for years to this school. These were the teachers whose students are now serving with pride. This Institute has produced most of doctors, engineers, army officers, csp officers and many holding good positions in private sector. All these were the students of the sacked teachers. It was very unfortunate and unfair done with those teachers whose services were invaluable but in lieu of praising them we have made them losers. The irony is that Carey Schofield replaced old teachers with the young University graduates who once remained students of the old sacked so called incompetent teachers. We should not blame blindly and selfishly.

  15. Muhammad Hakim says

    the dramatic decisions confuse us.I surprised to see the currents situation of the nation especially those who were saying that the teachers had destroyed their children academic career as well as the study process,they added that due to these all teachers our children’s future was dark and in dangerous.they deeply felt solid and unlimited happy when the pioneer teachers were dismissed from the Institute by one ex female principal of the College.According to there feeling and opinion the teachers were not qualified and very old era’s teachers.They also told that the current principal Langland was their ideal personality and very dedicated,devoted.But when I wrote about these teachers that they were the pioneers of the sayuaj public school then they blamed us that brother you do not know and we know about the teachers and current female principal,because this female principal is very best comparing to our chitrali these teachers ,that had been dismissed from their services.Now I ask from those parents, who is best for the nourishment of their generation.The ex female principal?the old male principal and our national sons who were performing their duties as school teachers for long time.The minds of people say that they were disqualified but I say that they were qualified but it is not important that the school teachers become a Doctor,Engineer,and so on.But they create these all category men.In the eyes of the parents the female teacher was true , helpful ,sincere,faithful,honest,and the parents appreciated the working criteria of the ex female principal,while in the eyes of the ex male principal these teachers were true , devoted and dedicated people and they improved the standard of the school.Now again the male principal dismissed and has terminated due to wrong administration to the ex female principal from her seat.So now the question is arising against the parents that I mean , they were not sincere with their Chitrali sons who were performing their duties in this school to give the modern scientific education to their children but they had celebrated happy when the ex principal dismissed the manufactures of many kind skillful personalities around the country. Now I ask about the demand of the parents what will be their opinion again about these re-instead teachers.They were worried about the future of their children but did not feel the severe and tough condition of the senior school teachers when they were terminated from their temporary jobs.

  16. Saba gul says

    This is indeed sad. The condition of the school had improved a lot under Carrey. Under Langlands, the school admin had lost all control over teachers and students as he was unable to be effective due to his old age and poor health. The students were often found jumping over house boundaries in dolomus and smoking inside. Bringing back the old inefficient academia and faculty is unacceptable.

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