PESHAWAR: Most of the education boards in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been functioning without the regular administrative heads and controller examinations, adversely affecting the academic and financial affairs of the boards, according to sources.

They said that of the eight boards of intermediate and secondary education in the province, six were without chairmen. They added that in the absence of regular chairmen, the secretaries of the boards were working as acting chairmen.

“Similarly, of the eight education boards, five have been functioning without the regular controller examinations. The assistant controllers examinations are working as acting controllers in the concerned boards,” said sources.

Official says interviews to start next week to appoint chairmen, controllers

The boards of intermediate and secondary education of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannue, Abbottabad, Swat and Mardan are working in the absence of regular chairman.

“The tenure of the chairmen of Peshawar, Bannu, Abbottabad and Mardan boards have been completed in February while those of Kohat and Swat in May,” sources told Dawn.

They said that Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat and Abbottabad boards were operating without controller examinations. “A controller plays pivotal role in conducting examinations by the education board,” the chairman of one of the boards told Dawn.

He said that controller examinations was responsible for conducting examinations, paper setting, printing of question papers, paper marking, deployment of the supervisory staff in the examination halls and compilation of the results.

“The entire process of conducting examinations is very sensitive and in the absence of a regular controller, any irregularity can occur,” said the chairman of the board.

He said that a controller was academic officer in the examinations board so how his assistant controller could perform in his place. “Both, the controller examinations and assistant controller have defined roles in the boards, so how an assistant controller can perform both the roles,” he questioned.

Similarly, a chairman was the chief executive of the board having financial and administrative powers for running the board, he said.

He said that a chairman was responsible for purchasing papers worth millions of rupees for using in the question papers and answer sheets. “An acting chairman couldn’t take bold decision in purchase of different items for the board,” he said.

Also, he said, the acting chairman couldn’t take administrative decisions in the board.

Asked about the procedure for the appointment of the chairman of board, officials in the education department told Dawn that there was no rule or law about how longer the government would appoint a chairman before the retirement of his predecessor.

However, officials said, usually the education department moved a summary of the panel of three persons for appointment of the chairman of board to the chief minister a week or 10 days prior to the retirement of the chairman. But in the case of the appointment of the six chairmen and five controller examinations, there was inordinate delay, they said.

Ziaullah Bangash, the adviser to chief minister on elementary and secondary education, was not available for comments. However, a senior official of the education department told Dawn that the appointment of the chairmen and controllers was in process and their interview would start next week.

Asked about the long delay, the official said that education department had moved separate summaries to the chief minister for the appointment of the chairmen and controllers.

However, he said, Chief Secretary Saleem Khan suggested formation of a committee for the appointment of the chairmen and controllers of education boards in the province.

The official said that additional chief secretary of planning and development department was heading the committee while its members were secretaries of elementary and secondary education department, higher education department, establishment department and the vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar.

The committee would interview the candidates next week for both the vacant positions in the education boards, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019