RAWALPINDI: The seriousness of the Punjab government towards promotion of education can be gauged from the fact that over 25 per cent colleges in Rawalpindi district are without heads.

In the absence of regular principals, additional charge holders are running the affairs of the institutions, Dawn has learnt.

“Without a captain, how a team could provide the desired results? Same situation is in our colleges,” says a senior professor, who wished not to be named.

According to rules, a grade 19 associate professor is eligible for the post of Degree Colleges Principal. However, in Rawalpindi district more than 25 per cent colleges are being run by lectures, assistant professors or professors on temporary basis.

Lack of decision-making authority affecting institutions’ performance

There are 40 degree colleges for men and women in the district. Out of them, at least 11 colleges have been waiting for regular principals for the last many months.

These colleges include: Degree College for Women, Mohan Pura, Degree College for Women, Peshawar Road, Degree College Muslim Town (8 number chongi), Degree College for Boys Chakri, Degree College Chakbali Khan, Degree Colleges for Women F-Block, Degree Colleges for Boys Kotli Satyian, both degree colleges for boys and women Dultala are being run without regular principals.

Two degree colleges each at Dhoke Kala Khan and Dhoke Elahi Bux are being run by grade 18 assistant professors ‘on payment scale’ (OPS).

“Usually, in headless colleges neither staff members nor students take their work seriously,” a professor on the condition of anonymity said and added that a regular head always keeps an eye on the performance of his subordinates.

When contacted, Director Colleges, Rawalpindi Division, Professor Humayun Iqbal said that a summary had been moved to higher education department Punjab for the appointment of five principals.

In next phase another summary will be moved for the appointment of three more principals.

Replying to a question, he said technically those working under OPS were considered regular principal.

“So, in this way eight positions are lying vacant,” he claimed and added appointment in rural areas was always an issue as professors avoid going there.

Replying to another question, he claimed that the directorate kept a regular check on additional charge holders so there was no question of compromising education standards.

Talking to Dawn, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, MNA from Rawalpindi, alleged that the government was deliberately neglecting the education sector.

“They (rulers) have no time to pay attention to education, rather they are focusing on publicity projects,” he said and added that education is the most neglected sector.

On the other hand, PML-N leader, Hanif Abbasi, who is overseeing metro bus project, said that PML-N government has been performing brilliantly.

“We are providing best education, best health and now best transportation system,” he claimed. When pressed about specific issue he said that as per his knowledge all colleges are functioning smoothly in his constituency.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2014