PESHAWAR: The higher education department on Wednesday formed two committees to examine the existing regulations and academic and administrative programmes of the historical Edwardes College, Peshawar, for improvement.

The committees were made in light of the decision taken by the college’s Board of Governors in a meeting held on Nov 11.

The department issued two notifications regarding the formation of the committees and their terms of references.

The prestigious Edwardes College has been facing a plethora of problems mainly created due to poor administration. Recently, it remained closed for two weeks due to a tussle between the administration and faculty members.

The academic standards of the college are on the decline forcing a large number of its students to enrol in other educational institutions. The first committee has been made to review the existing legal regulatory framework of the college and propose amendments and additions.

Committees will review regulations, courses, degree-awarding status proposal

The higher education secretary is the convener of the committee, which comprises the finance, law and establishment secretaries or their nominees, a representative of the Edwardes College principal, and any co-opted member/members as deemed fit by the convener. The deputy secretary of the higher education department is the committee’s secretary.

Three terms of reference have been set for the first committee.

Under them, the committee will review the existing legal regulatory framework of the college and propose amendments/additions in light of a judgment of the Peshawar High Court issued on Oct 1, 2019, examine the existing administrative and management structure and propose recommendations for improvement, and suggest special legislative instrument for enactment to regulate affairs of the college in a transparent and efficient manner.

The second committee has been tasked with reviewing the current status of the college and examining the viability of the college’s academic and administrative programmes.

Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Peshawar Dr Johar Ali is the committee’s convener, while its members include former VC of the University of Haripur Prof Nasir Ali Khan and the director of the higher education department or his nominee not below the office of the additional secretary.

The department has set four ToRs of the second committee, including the examination of the feasibility and current status of 10-year Master Plan of Edwardes College and progress made about it, and review of the viability of new academic programmes launched by the administration and its compatibility with the existing infrastructure and available human resource.

The committee will also look into the prospects of giving the degree-awarding institution status to the college and submit report to the provincial governor within 10 days.

Some elements have launched a ‘vicious’ campaign inside and outside the country giving a communal colour to the administrative issues of the college. A perception was conveyed that the provincial government is making efforts to take over the Edwardes College.

In this connection, the government clarified time and again that it has no interest to occupy the Edwardes College.

On Nov 8, the Edwardes College stakeholders developed a consensus that the property of the college should not be transferred to or occupied by anyone in the name of nationalisation. The development came during a meeting chaired by Governor Shah Farman and attended by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan at the Governor’s House.

Dr Mohammad Shoaib Suddle, the chairman of the one-man commission formed on the Supreme Court orders, and MNA Ramesh Kumar also attended the meeting, which discussed the matters related to the Edwardes College.

The participants agreed that the college should remain the property of Christians, while its Christian identity.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2019