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ISLAMABAD: Parents of students from the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges on Tuesday expressed reservations over the handing over of the school chain to the Turkish Ma’arif Foundation.

At a press conference at the National Press Club, a group of parents led by Sumera Khan, Sajida Usman and Mohammad Arif said efforts are being made to hand over the Pak-Turks schools to the Ma’arif Foundation, which according to the international media is not only a new entrant to the field of education but also marred by news of child abuse and radicalisation.

They said that if the Pakistani government wishes to involve the foundation in the education sector, they could do so with government projects or to assist the government to counter the out-of-school children issue.

“The takeover of Pak-Turk by such an organisation will be disastrous,” Ms Khan said.

The parents said the Pak-Turk Education Foundation, which looks after the affairs of these schools, is a not-for-profit guaranteed Pakistani company registered with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

They said the schools were founded by Turkish and Pakistani officials and developed together with significant efforts of the Pakistani community.

Ms Khan said that following the expulsion of Turkish teachers, total ownership of the foundation belongs to the Pakistani community and it should remain with a Pakistani board of directors.

The parents claimed that the Supreme Court also recently decided the matter in favour of the Turkish government and demanded that the court and the government review this decision in the interest of Pakistani students.

The parents asked the SC to hear their points of view, as parents who are very satisfied with the current status of educational institutions.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018

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