Tuesday December 05, 2023

Department of Boards and Universities fails to honour SHC orders

August 12, 2023

The Department of Boards and Universities seems to have become a one-stop shop for appointments and transfers even as the provincial government’s tenure comes to an end, in which not only orders of the Sindh High Court regarding deputation, double charge, OPS and officers from other departments are being openly violated, but the orders of the chief secretary have also been ignored.

Instead of appointing permanent controllers, chairmen and secretaries during the past five years, the game of short-term appointments and transfers was openly played in a mockery of judicial verdicts.

An assistant professor from Shah Latif University Khairpur, Shah Mohammad Farooq, has been posted as controller of the Hyderabad Board on deputation for one year, while Shaukat Ali has been removed from the post of controller of the Hyderabad Board, and the notification in this regard was issued on August 2, 2023.

Shaukat Ali’s parent department is the College Education Department, yet he was posted in the board. The director of the Human Settlement Authority, Human Settlement and Social Housing Department, Nadeem Soomro, has been appointed controller of the Larkana Board for one year on a deputation basis. In the Matric Board Karachi, Controller of Examinations Habibullah Sahag has been removed and Imran Butt has been reappointed to the same position. The question arises: why was Imran Butt removed from the post a few months ago and then why was he appointed again?

Earlier, Controller Hyderabad Board Masroor Zai was relieved and the charge was given to college professor Shaukat Ali Khanzada on deputation. Similarly, Prof Ali Ahmad Brohi (BS-21) of the University of Sindh has been appointed chairman of the Hyderabad Board for two years on a deputation basis. Thus, he is the third chairman in one year who has been appointed on a temporary basis to the Hyderabad Board.

Earlier, Professor Barkat Ali Hydari and Rafiq Ahmed Phul had remained the chairman of the Hyderabad Board on deputation. While as per the rules the appointments of chairman, controllers and secretaries are required to be made through a search committee, Boards and Universities Minister Ismail Rahu and Secretary Mureed Rahmon have yet to allow the four chairmen and three secretaries selected on merit by the search committee to be appointed to the posts. This is so despite the fact that their report was also sought from different intelligence and security agencies for permanent appointments. Yet the permanent appointments were never made.

Larkana Board Chairman Prof Naseem Memon has been appointed chairman of the Board of Intermediate Board Karachi for two years or until a permanent chairman is appointed. Dr Saeeduddin has been relieved so he could assume the new responsibilities of rector in Hyderabad.

Similarly, the Larkana Education Board’s Grade 19 officer and Inspector Colleges and Schools Sikandar Mirjat has been appointed as acting chairman of Larkana for two years. All these appointments have been made undermining merit.

Federal Board Islamabad Director Zulfiqar Ali Shah was appointed as chairman of the Mirpurkhas Education Board for one year on deputation against the rules.

Interestingly, during four years, thousands of results were changed in the Sindh education boards and the situation worsened to such an extent that 40,000 candidates had failed in the annual exams, but less than 5,000 took the supplementary exams, and it seems the rest were allegedly declared passed silently. Investigations regarding the change of results have not yielded any result or action till date. SPLA officials also held a press conference on this issue, but no decision was taken.

Secretary Board Mureed Rahman expressed his helplessness over this whole situation and said that he always tried for the prevalence of merit, but since assuming charge there had been many lessons learnt. He said that almost everyone is involved in this shady business of corrupt governance. “In fact, we are an incompetent, mediocre and characterless society and we are happily living with this reality,” he said.