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Kiss of death for the Langlands School & College

Muhammad Jalaluddin

I was shocked a couple of days ago when I heard people talking about The Langlands School and College, terming it a school for the well-to-do only. Some of them even boasted of being part of the elite class and suggested, all yelling at me, that those who cannot afford the skyrocketing expanses could withdraw their kids from the school. One of them even boasted himself as a leader and representative of Chitralis, while the reality is he hasn’t even been able to get victory in local body elections.

In the meeting when I raised the issue and tried to compare Carey Schofield with Langlands in terms of their policies regarding the school, all yelled at me and termed Ms Carey a savior of The Langlands School.

It seemed to me that they were invited intentionally to oppose the middle and ultra lower class as the meeting was meant for the parents who had reservation over the uniform. But majority of them opposed it and endorsed the quality of the uniform—a burden on the parents of poor student. And by their discussion I sensed that they wanted to make the school a heaven for the elite class as the group who opposed me belonged to that class.

When one goes through the papers and reports on the school, it was not founded for the upper class only. In 1988, Wali Ur Rehman Advocate, Nasir Ahmad and Pahlawan Bahadur of Zargarandeh approached Captain Javed Majeed, the then DC Chitral, to open a school of quality education for the poor, ultra poor and middle class people of Chitral. Thus the school was established and its name was Sayurj Public School.

When Major GD Langlands joined it as the principal, he upheld the basic motto—quality education for the middle class. Kids of drivers, grocers, constables and poor people benefited from the school. Talented students belonging to poor families were able to get admission at GIKI, Aitcheson, Lawrence College, LUMS and FC College on the scholarship of Langlands Trust. It was since 2015 that the school was taken over by businessmen and women of the elite class. Now everything is subject to free trade and marketing. The transition of the school from a school for the middle class to a business model for the elite started when the school fee was raised by up to 50%.

At that time Dr. Faizi sahab raised his voice against it but, unfortunately, at that time too, the elite class became infuriated and opposed his voice. The point is not an individual’s—a lawyer, a banker or a doctor—capacity to afford the fee and other expanses rather the majority—commoners—poor and ultra poor class who in the time of Langlands availed the opportunity to admit their children in the reputed institution. I don’t doubt nor do I question the quality of education, be it Langlands’ time or Ms Carey’s.

May be the quality has been made better in contemporary times, but at what expanse? There are a few questions which I want to ask: Did the government invest 500 million rupees for the elite class? Did the government give its prime location, a guest house, to the school for the elite class? Was it made for the elite class? Can the middle class afford the expanses imposed on them by the business minded principal? Has she been able, like Langlands, to get funds from the government or other funders?

On what grounds the contract (without bidding) of providing the uniform has been given to Kublai Alam? What are his credentials in the field? Why were the parents of those kids (elite class) were invited to the meeting who were satisfied with the quality of uniform? If the answers are in negative, the government must give an iron hand to the issue. An investigation must be conducted regarding the ground on which the contract for uniform was awarded. 

This matter needs to be looked upon both by the government as well as by all the stakeholders, especially by the middle class as the future of their children is on stake. If any step is not taken then this prestigious institutions will lose its integrity; endangering the future of hundreds of children belonging to poor and ultra poor class.  

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  1. shuja mir says

    Hello & hi to every one.. I can only say that you can’t buy bmw in the cost of Suzuki.My daughter Nasima is a student of this school for for the last four years and I’m fully satisfied with everything as a foreign edycated/professional.if some one can’t afford than there are other options I.e govt schools and no need to make it a social or media issue.thanks.

  2. Inayat says

    Very petty issue has been escalated unnecessarily.The Langlands school and college is a government funded renowned institute,which has been educating the young children of the district.Neither the writer should feel proud of his write up as many questions have been raised,nor the opposite group should label the school as wholly and solely private,as the land and capital amount which is used to run this institute, funded by the government.Be optimist rather than pessimist.

  3. Ihtisham Ur Rehman says

    For Nisar Ahmad I’d say he is frustrated and it seems he has some personal issues with me. And I know about them.
    As far as his criticism of the institution is concerned I’d say that at the time of admission students are provided with a booklet -educated people call or prospectus – where all the details regarding fee, fines and other requirements are clearly mentioned. If a parent isn’t agree with those terms he/she has freedom to abandon the idea of admitting his/her child.
    Same is the case with Langlands School, if it has got a prospectus, that those necessary points are mentioned there. May I dare to ask this gentleman are the current developments in the school part of that booklet, which we call prospectus?

  4. Ihtisham Ur Rehman says

    I’m amazed to see the comments of some of the faculty members as well as general public. They are attacking me personally. I haven’t attacked none, be she the principal or be he/she any faculty member.
    I have raised questions regarding tje ussue of uniform as well as the way this ‘semi-government’ institute is headed.
    My own siblings, kith and kin study there. As far as the quality of education is concerned I haven’t gone into the details of that. And this is another cup of tea. By the calls and the comments as well as personal attacks on me show the credentials of the teachers it seems that they are also dubious about themselves.
    I have raised questions, keeping the very foundation of the school–was it made for the elite class only or was it made for the common public?
    I’m a man of principles. If I have been a selfish man, then I’d haven’t given a damn about the issue. My family background is well known. I can afford any burden; even I can afford Beacon House School system or Roots School system. But that’s not the issue. I have a pain for the middle and lower middle class. My heart aches when I see a poor child’s parents who cannot afford education.
    In the end I’d like to make one thing clear that my being principle centered was the major hurdle that I didn’t show hypocrisy and bluntly told the administration that I couldn’t teach for more than 4 months. That’s why the other candidate was called. And it is part of record. I challenge everyone that they can check the record. Otherwise I’ll expose other factors that’ll create problems for the administration, especially teachers.
    Don’t takr it as an offence rather take it in positive sense as the article is meant for improvement not for hatred.

  5. GKSareer says

    As a direct stakeholder and father of a child studying in the LSC I have every reason to be concerned for its betterment or otherwise. Coming from a moderate financial background I am vigilant how my precious money is spent for the cherished purpose of my kid’s future.
    To start with I may suggest that not all issues can be solved by making things controversial. This is doubly so when it comes to Ms Carrey whose drastic measures after her taking charge of the school raised eyebrows from some quarters well known to us all. As part of our childish politicizing even matters of utmost importance just for the sake of personal gain, Ms Carrey did incur the wrath of the persons who had until than monopolized both the resources and the administration of the school. We relieved once the new administration settled the matters after going through tribulations and harassment. We equally sighed a breath of ease at the drastic changes Ms Carrey brought about for the betterment of education. I could confidently feel the positive change in my child and his improvement after going through hard work like checking homework, series of tests and exams and discipline.
    Having said that I do aspire that not only my own child should have best possible educational opportunities but also the society need have access to quality education. It’s the Democratic right of my people no matter which economic bracket they are struggling to survive in. Therefore, not only the school fee structure should be a bit rationalized but also there could be mechanism through which children from economically weaker section get admission to the institute like Freeship, scholarship etc.
    Many parents and school teachers do complain of the authoritarian style of administration of Ms Carrey. She belongs to a country that is termed mother of democracy. She should come close to common people of Chitral, listen to them and feel their pain. By the way thousands of common people were also protesting against when Ms Carrey was denied viza to this country.
    As part of the solution it’s indispensable that the actual stakeholders of the a Chitral and the school should be made members of the Board of Governors. People from other parts of the country can hardly appreciate the nature of the problem and their solution relevant to our particular society. This step will effectively stop unnecessary influence exerted from behind the door. I suppose Ms Carrey needs not feel threatened and vulnerable. She is a lady of courage and high morality.

  6. Zeeshan Ahmad says

    It seems that the standard and respect given to the teaching class by the langlands school is not digested by other schools and teachers. that is why they are using such people for propaganda. teacher selection is on merit. the background, attitude and character is considered while selecting teachers. almost all teacher are from middle class. if there was no merit than most of the current teachers would not be there. most students also belong to poor families.

  7. Zuhuruddin says

    Respected Mam carey, we are very grateful for your kind help to promote education in backward area of kpk Chitral. In a very defficult time u are in Chitral and you are always happy to face challenges one another. Actually these people are very few in number they are against development of Chitral not against you. 90% of the parents are appreciated your services and standing with u.
    Further these kind of people realize that school is best school in your leadership therefore their children brother sisters are in your school. It means they are satisfied with quality education but due to some their personal graviances they are getting help of social media

  8. Nisar Ahmad says

    The frustration of the writer is understood. But those who are commenting are strange. Most of them are least concerned. They don’t even seem to understand what they are saying. They don’t even feel ashamed of telling lies, and discussing things they have no knowledge of.
    For the writer, and those who are stressing the terms “business minded principal”, please go a little back in the history. You will find the best example of business-oriented-education in the form of the college you are affiliated with. The infrastructure of the college is erected on the excessive fines (rather extortion) collected from poor students through different “business tactics”. Who doesn’t know that in Chitral?
    As for the term “elite class”, this is just a term as far as Chitral is concerned. No one here is elite. Especially the ones following this WRITER, some of them also claim to have their children in the School, are they elite class people???? If not elite, how can they accuse the school to be for elite class? Those who are commenting without knowledge, note this, there are more students on scholarship currently in the school than ever before. The administration there is more organized than ever before. There is special concession for orphans and talented poor students. Those who are just practicing their ENGLISH by telling trash about salaries of the principal and staff, have you seen their pay slips? If not, don’t you feel ashamed of telling lies? Please think before saying anything on social media. Just pleasing a writer for no purpose will do you no good. Use your own head. Be responsible, think twice and talk reasonably.

  9. Bakhtawar Salik says

    We Chitralis love gossip. We thrive on drama and negativity and lack the ability to think objectively. For any society to grow intellectually, it is important to have people who digress from the majority and do not fall for ‘group think’. I was amazed at a recent article where a writer was bent on proving the elitism followed by the Langland school and the hint of personal nepotism by its principal.
    This is written by an individual highly concerned about the education of her siblings, two of whom study in this very school. The current quality of education provided at the school has made me rethink any plans of moving them to schools in Islamabad as I realized they were able to get the same quality of education as well as grooming and development at less than tenth the cost. This is simple math. I went to the Beaconhouse Margalla here in Islamabad but am delighted to note that my younger siblings make no compromises on quality when they attend this school at much lesser fee. Please understand that quality education that you have praised comes at a cost. The principal has to keep the future sustainability and independence of the schools in mind, particularly when she has experienced students leaving with years of unpaid arrears and dependence on donations to pay teacher salary.
    The writer has raised the issue of the cost of uniform. The uniform we received consists of the following:
    – 3 pair of uniform
    – 1 pair of shoes
    – 3 pair of socks
    – One winter coat
    – Belt
    – Sports shirt
    It cost Pkr. 6000 per student (to be paid in installments).
    All the above were in high quality, packed and marked with each student’s name. Anyone with a commercial sense or a shopping experience and awareness of basic math can tell the profit margins in this deal. What really amazed me was how easily did the writer resort to the personal attack on Mr. Qublai Alam and his credentials? Anyone who has any remote connection to the family can testify that they can hardly be bothered for such petty profit. Do the math of the profit involved in this and let us know how much the contractor, be it anyone, may have benefited from this deal.
    I understand that age old institutions like Langlands have an accountability to their community but let us not overstretch our roles and expectations. In reality, we do not own the Langlands, or the AKRSP or the SRSP. Let this be the responsibility of the direct stakeholders, their board of governors and their auditors. There should be an end to unchecked media bashing of individuals and the work that they do, especially personal attacks. Let us value people who make life altering changes to make a difference in the community instead of pulling them down every day, one controversy after another.
    Best Regards

  10. Zuhuruddin says

    Dear all, we will never forget mam carey efforts to up the standerd of the school.
    We all proud on her. Being a lady in a very defficult time she came to Chitral and gave her day night for the school and drastically improved the school in all aspects. It seems
    You was applied for the position in the same school few days before the meeting. And you was thinking its best organization under the leadership of mam carey. When the position is offered to other competent candidate then u have started help of chitral today. Remember it during the era of Mr. G.D.langland you people were working against him as well. What will happend with voluntier ladies foreign teachers. You can ask from them those who are pushing you against school and wellwisher of chitral. Further mam carey with her own struggle generated funds for the school and running the school smoothly and facing people like u. Remember earlier era of the school when salaries were overdue for many months.
    If you are more intrested to get investigation through NAB start it from Dr. Asim 459 Billion
    Finally my sincere advise to u is give your concentration to get job or further study. Since 2013 some other negative minded people like u already attacked in to TLSC and wellwishers of chitral but fail in their negative mission.

    1. Zeeshan Ahmad says

      Well said Zuhuruddin sahib. I agree with you

  11. Hashmat says

    There is one school which is seriously educating it’s students not only in studies but also in discipline and character building through example. Please let it work. Objecting on one pretext or the other can discourage a solid lady who is working honestly as head of the institution.

  12. Latif Abdul says

    It is surprising to know how govt money is ussed without check in Langlannd school. NAB and KP Ihtisab Commission should take notice of inappropriation of govt donated money in this school.

  13. Al Arslan Khwaja says

    Agreed Mr. Ehtisham. A specific group or class of people has said to engulf this institution and the middle and poorer class are tried to shunt from it’s premises. When child uniform falls of 8000 Rs, certainly a true gotten gear will not afford it.

  14. Malik says

    @ Azaz Raisani
    Very sad to read your sentence “the writer of this column twice applied for the post of lecturer in the Langlands school and has been rejected twice.” you should proof this in open media.If Not then i will proof in this forum the real and entire story.

  15. Niaz Ali says

    Dear Ahmad Azam you don’t know about non-developmental and unnecessary expenditures in this school. Every month principal of Langland school takes 3 lac salary and 3 lac other house and vehicle expenses. Five employes are working with her. while ph.d doctor in Model college takes less than 50 thousands, and in Aga Khan School as 80 thousands only.

  16. Muhammad Younis Khan says

    Agreed with comments of the writer however my serious question is setting right priorities for the institution. Well, we all admit that Ms. Carey has remarkably improved administration, teacher benefits and now quality of uniform. Apart from that some of her decisions were not also based on merit because she didn’t followed any Standard Operating Procedures relating to staff extermination, construction awards ( boundary wall) and now uniform.
    She might be right in her decision and intention but lacked any semblance of professionalism but rather look like an authoritarianism.
    After doing all these efforts, there is not a noticeable improvement in the quality of education which put a big question mark on her performance. She was not able to set a model education system and I hardly believe there is not much difference between GD Langland and her. I request to Our respected Ms. Carey to pay a greater attention at primary level which seriously losing its quality and standards. Inspite of financial constraints, parents do manage hefty fees in the better interest of their childrent and even if there is a need to raise it further, we are also ready but that should be based at the expense of quality education. Furthermore staff benefits should be increased only on the basis of performance and existing resources.
    The GD Langlands is the Institution of Chitrali People therefore it is our right to discuss and Ms. Carey has to a address concerns of people.
    My comments are only meant only for betterment of this great Institution which is only hope we have had for our children and future.

  17. Shahzeb Khan says

    The government donated 180 million rupees for this school to provide quality education in this remote district for underprivileged class, but unfortunately failure of school administration huge amount of money is lavishly used on unnecessary things, and no child is given admission to this section of society.
    After taking over, the principal implemented inappropriate policies which were naturally unacceptable to everybody. Most of the teachers resisted her policies. But she illegally sacked these competent teachers, and some resigned from their jobs in protest against her.
    Taking the support of other teachers in school she has promoted incompetent people in high rank with high salaries. For that reason she always rely on suggestions of those who are close to her.
    she is ultimately responsible for the failure of this renowned institution founded by honorable former DC, Chitral Javed Majeed and uplifted by legendary G.D Langland.

  18. Shafeeq Sudais says

    No doubt it is quite unfair the way TLSC administration is hell bent on squeezing poor parents financially by charging them on the pretext of imparting quality education in the shape of heavy monthly fee, transport fee, uniform fee etc. Those teachers who used to raise their voice against such sort of unjust policies were either shown the door or made them leave the school one way or the other while some of the pro active, outspoken/influential parents and other members of community who used to speak up in such matters were also made silent through different means like influencing them via connections, extending double standard courtesy and in some cases palm greasing and media war etc. Having said I would like to ask a few simple question from School Administration as well as from the parents.
    1.It has been observed that no single student has been able to make his/her way into Medical College or Engineering University by qualifying the entry test ever since the arrival of the new principal which implies that the output of the school is ZERO despite hollow claims of quality education which is indeed a big questions Mark on the credibility of the school and to be frank enough a joke with Chitralis in general.
    2.Is there any authority to check such a sorry state of affairs of the school OR the Principal has been given a blank cheque to do anything at will without any check and balance at the expense of the future of the School. If the later is true then is proper monitoring mechanism of the school not the need of the hour????
    Last but not the least I would like to assert here that we have no problem whatsoever with Carey or any other foreigner; they are all most welcome but what we are asking for is the true quality education and I am afraid to say that the current statistics speak the other way round as far as quality education at TLSC is concerned which is a matter of grave concern and need to be ensured at the earliest before it is too late.

  19. Ahmad Azam says

    Govt of KP has hundred of such schools and their performance is before us. Kerry brought some tough reforms in the system and enhanced quality of teaching and learning in the institutions up to some extent which were deteriorated during Langland era and we have no other option than Ms. Kerry. However spending of scarce resources of the school lavishly is something which is confusing. If resources injected for quality improvement it is not a matter of concern, however unproductive and non-developmental expenditure will result depletion of resources and causes financial crunch for the institute in future. However Ms. Kerry is genius and highly professional personality and she had thought hundred time over balance sheet of school and revenue as well as expenditure management. Quality of teaching and learning improved up to high extent after arrival of Ms. Kerry which is fact.

  20. Azaz Raisani says

    Well the issue discussed in the column doesn’t relate to the event that happened few weeks ago, the writer of this column twice applied for the post of lecturer in the Langlands school and has been rejected twice. Now then he is trying to squeeze out his anger raising the issue of high fee and uniform change. The point here is that private institutions solely depends on the revenue coming from the fee they collect from students which in turn is spent in the form of salaries to the teachers, and it is a well known fact that the current principal of the school has raised the salaries of teachers more than 100% which is a remarkable step for the insurance of quality output. All educational institutes change uniform or rise their fee time to time. This seems to be a very narrow minded approach of complaining about uniform issues. If the quality is ensured then investing for quality education is not a real problem for anyone either they are elite, middle class or poor.

    1. imtiaz shah says

      genuine answer ..

      1. Ali says

        Wow, if the writer had applied for a job at the Langlands school and college and was not selected than this whole story which he has put up gives a clear picture of his frustration.
        People of Chitral specially the students and their parents know very well how the quality of education has improved since miss Carey took over as the principal. No need to go into details if “THE WRITER HAD APPLIED FOR A JOB WITH THE LANGLANDS SCHOOL AND WAS REJECTED. It’s pretty clear…

    2. Gulam murtaza says

      sir with due respect won’t agree with you. first i would like to make it clear, the writer of this column applied once n was selected at the very first attempt. you are mis-informed i would come to the main issue. and i would ask you few questions . didn’t we squeeze our anger by firing the most experienced and honourable veterans of Suyurj? they were unparalleled and are unparalleled. how they were treated and how they were fired? they have been there fr long 15 years and are the manager of more than thousands successful and proud faces. yes that is another issue, they were howler and made mistake by devoting their precious time. you are very right” all institutions can change their policies , like changing uniform or bla bla. but sir, shouldn’t it be within the approach of lower middle class? i think it should be .. you might afford such , honestly saying my father can’t… i had been there in 2009 And 2011.and hardly got through it. now i m given the double of it and it is for to judge , how would i welcome that. the best thing could be to advice my younger brother not to go for an option of Langland ..

    3. Ihtisham Ur Rehman says

      I applied once and I was on top priority. If I was rejected then Carey hadn’t called me after the interview. I was called after the interview as I was on top priority among all the candidates. However, we couldn’t reach on an agreement because I told her that I couldn’t teach here for more than three or four months as I have to peruse my M.Phil. That’s why the guy who was on second position was offered the position.
      All the things are part of record. You can dig and search for the records. Nothing is hidden.
      As far as my stance against Carey and the elite class is concerned I have been critical of both. You can check Chitral Today’s archives.
      I had applied just for the sake of fun. If I had any wish for the position then I’d had hidden my intentions of going and pursuing my further studies.
      I am a blunt man. I express everything bluntly. Be they my personal feelings or be they social issues.

  21. Zubair Khan says

    The writer has taken an objective assessment of an important and historical institution of Chitral. I have heard that the principal has made some changes but using the government donated money lavishly. It may lead to bankruptcy of this institution.
    The writer is right about Dr.Faizi he had raised very good questions about this school, and requested the government of KP to take it over.
    this school needs a saviour to make it a model college. government of Pakistan needs to investigate how government money being spent in this school.
    Thumbs up

  22. Khan says

    I don’t how Ms Carey perceived that the people of Chitral can pay whatever fees she can set for the school. Recently after shifting their Balach campus to Singoor they suddenly raised the transport fees almost double while there has been no price hike in the oil meanwhile. Similarly the forced the parents to buy the uniform only they are selling. The only thing noticeable on the uniform is the logo of the school. they are selling the uniform for almost Rs. 7000 while the same with good quality is available in the market around Rs. 3500/-. Interestingly no one argued about it. What I conceive is that this school belongs to only elite class and future as this article suggests, the Langland school door for the poor and mid class is going to shut down completely if Government does not intervene immediately.

  23. Kifayat says

    Dear Ihtisham,
    Agree with some of the points you raised but at the same time it would be injustice if we ignore the factors which have contributed in increasing the fee.
    1. The fuel and vehicle maintenance costs have increased 1000 times since 1990s when we were studying in the School
    2. The teacher’s salaries used to be 2 to 8 thousand during those days now a qualified teacher asks no less than 50000.
    3. When we were doing our FSCs in mid 2000s the junior school’s quality of education and discipline in the senior school were no more. There was no respect for uniform, classes etc in the senior section, mainly because of the health issues of Sir Langlands and corrupt local administration.
    4. I totally agree with you that children of disadvantaged families studied in the School, I being one othem, wore a pant and shirt for years and the color of the pants used to fade. But now we have to consider the running costs of the School before making any observation. The uniform change is needed because these kids have to join the modern development and corporate sector where a certain level of dressing is expected. Training children since young age is good for their grooming.
    Ms. Carey is a brave woman who came all the way from UK to run our school.She is not charging high salary for her services. Let us acknowledge the role of these foreigners who are serving our youth and kids.

  24. Atta says

    representing the voice of masses….

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