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Parents worried as Langlands School deadlock deepens

Zulfiqar Ahmad

CHITRAL: As the British principal, backed by the local administration and one of the governing body members,  kept Langlands School and College shut for the third consecutive day, teachers continued their peaceful protest on Friday.

MNA Molana Abdul Akber early in the morning told a press conference that the demand of the teachers and other staff to replace Carey Schofield with a local professional educationist was not irrational.

He said those who are backing the British principal were putting the future of Chitrali children at stake which would not be allowed.

The MNA later led the teachers and other staff of the school to the deputy commissioner office to ask him to open the school. The deputy commissioner’s staff told the MNA to meet the DC alone. But the MNA insisted that the DC should come out and meet him in front of the representatives of the schoolteachers and other staff.

After waiting for about 20 minutes outside the DC office when the DC did not come out, the MNA left the spot.

Addressing a gathering of the teachers and others at Atalegh Chowk, he warned that if the school was not opened on Saturday morning, he would give a call for a public protest and lockdown in the town.

Meanwhile, the teachers and other staff issued a press statement saying even though they were ready to take classes the school was not being reopened. They said they launched their peaceful protest on Oct 2 demanding that Principal Carey Schofield should be replaced with a local professional educationist.

The government should take over the school forthwith and run it in accordance with the national education policy. Besides, all members of the school’s board of governor should be removed.

The teachers have decided that they will continue taking classes but on the condition that Ms Carey should not come back to the school. If she returned, the teachers will boycott classes, they added.

The teachers said an impression had been created in government circles that Ms Carey was indispensable for the Langlands School which was wrong. They said the British principal remained out of the country for 10 months in 2015 due to non-issuance of visa to her but the school functioned as usual.

Meanwhile, talking to ChitralToday, some parents who had joined the protesting teachers and other staff expressed their concerns over the indefinite closure of the school. They said due to the intransigence of the principal backed by the commissioner Malakand Division and a local member of the governing body the crisis in the school was deepening with each passing day.

They said those who have no actual stake in the school should not play with the future of the people of Chitral by creating a crisis in the school for their own vested interests.

They said the teachers at the deputy commissioner office on Oct 2 had given in writing that they would continue taking classes but now the school was not being reopened on the insistence of the principal, who has returned to Chitral after remaining out for about three week.

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  1. Mari says

    Whoever is playing whatever role, they should NOT be allowed to play with the future of the students. And students should NOT be part of such blame game. This is an indirect lesson being taught to them. A single moment is so important in a student’s academic life, that no king or queen can return it to the students. It is high time for parents to keep away their children and school should resume it responsibilities as soon as possible. All the parties are playing with the future of the students. This is the time when a school has to conduct assessments and involve and engage parents in the process, but it is so pity that both are involved in business not worthy and poor students are suffered. I urge all the students not to be part of any game and concentrate on their studies and prove themselves that they are future leaders of our direly needed nation.

  2. Ali shahpar says

    No one naming the elephant in the room. Let me do that. The school ran like a well oiled machinery with regular consultations from teachers and parents until Shahzada Siraj became a member of its board. Captain Siraj has been trying from day one to make and project the school a project of his royal family, the evidence of which is abundant and everyone knows that. But he is well connected nationally and no deputy commissioner dared to challenge him except Osama. Things were so bad that a DC called Irshad Sodhar acted like a pet to him and our local Mafia man used to accompany the DC on all official tours. He is not an educationist, he had nothing to do with running a school but he is most influential member of the board. It is high time he be removed from the board and is told just to run his hotel and not act like a Metar as we aren’t living in early 20th century …

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