The Board of Governors of the historic Edwardes College Peshawar would meet today Tuesday to appoint the principal of the institution after a delay of over two years.
The board in its previous meeting held on November 15 had given a two-week time for the appointment of a full-time principal and the incumbent acting principal, the octogenarian Muhammad Siddique Zaki was allowed to continue heading the college till then.
However, it took seven weeks to convene the meeting to make a final decision.According to sources, the Diocese of Peshawar has recommended five names for the prestigious position, which would be presented before the board and an appropriate candidate would be selected among them for the office.
The sources said the governor had directed to focus the next meeting exclusively on the appointment of the principal and other matters that should be dealt with by the new principal after his arrival.
But the agenda circulated among the board members showed that the approval to the minutes of the finance committee of the college had also been put on it.The only reason for presenting the finance committee report before the board was to accord approval to the salary package of the outgoing acting principal.
The sources said the acting principal was drawing Rs 400,000 per month as salary in advance from the college.The finance committee had suggested his salary as Rs 600,000 with retrospective effect.
If the board approves the finance committee minutes, the acting principal would be able to receive nearly Rs five million as outstanding salaries from the college, the sources said. It has been observed that the college, which was once considered the best institution in the province, has been badly affected both academically and administratively during the last few years.
Enrollment in both intermediate and BS programmes has shown a sharp decrease.Certain faculties received strict warnings from the University of Peshawar, asking the college to fulfill the required shortcoming or their programmes would be disaffiliated.
Law is one such faculty, which was given provisional approval for admission with strict directives to overcome the shortcomings before the next visit of the university’s inspection team. The university had expressed concern over the non-compliance of the college management despite repeated instructions, stated a letter addressed to the college principal.
However, in the best public interest it was recommended to extend affiliation of the Edwardes College, Peshawar in the discipline of LLB (5 years) for the year 2021-22.The admissions for LLB (5 years) have been retained provisionally once again and the college has been directed to fulfil the following, the letter stated.
“Appointment of visiting and permanent teaching faculty as per the requirement of the Pakistan Bar Council Legal Education Rules 2015. Construction or arrangement of separate block/building for the law department. Purchase of at least 5,000 law books as well as law journals,” the letter further stated.
Continuation of the affiliation for 2022-23 and onwards will be based on the recommendations of the committee after its revisit for the verification of the compliance report regarding the above shortcomings, it maintained.
The inspection committee shall revisit the college to verify the fulfilment of the above deficiencies before starting the next academic session, the letter concludes. Also, during the two-year stay of the acting principal the worst victimization of teaching and other staff was made, the sources said.
The faculty and students of the college have expressed optimism that with the arrival of the new principal the problems of the college would be resolved. Some questions have also been raised over the procedure for proposing names for the prized office.
The criteria approved by the board of governor in its meeting held in October this year, it had been clearly mentioned that the Lahore Diocese Trust Association through headhunting would nominate a panel of five persons qualifying the given criteria.”
But in the previous meeting of the same body, the governor, who is also chairman of the board, asked the Dioceses Peshawar to submit names to the board through Higher Education Department so that the appointment of the principal could be ensured within two weeks.
However, the most urgent need is the appointment of the full-time principal so that the prolonged adhocism could come to an end and a journey could be made for the revival of the historic glory of the institution, said an academician.