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January 14, 2015

Private education watchdog without permanent chief since June 2013

Islamabad

January 14, 2015

Islamabad
Look around the town and you’ll find private schools here, there, and everywhere.
But regulating them appears to be a low priority for the Capital Administration and Development Division overseeing local educational facilities since the de-centralisation of the education ministry at the start of July 2011.
Take, for instance, the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA).It’s the sole government watchdog of the city’s over 1,100 private educational institutions but the CADD has long adopted the policy of ad-hocism for it.
Under the law, which led to its creation in 2006, the self-financing PEIRA will have a chairman and two members to be appointed by the government.
Currently, it does have a chairman but the incumbent, Imtiaz Ali Qureshi, has the ‘look-after charge’ of the position.
The CADD had asked Mr Qureshi, who is actually the PEIRA member (academics), to act as a stand-in for the chairman almost a year ago until a permanent replacement is found.
He’d assumed the office on March 19, 2014, a day after Ghayoor Sultana retired as the chairperson of the regulatory body after serving a brief stint of three months.
Ironically, Ghayoor Sultana, the then director general of the Directorate General of Special Education, too, had the ‘look-after charge’ of the top PEIRA post like her many predecessors.
This watchdog of private education in the city has been awaiting appointment of a permanent head since June 2013.
Today, Imtiaz Ali Qureshi carries out the duties of both the PEIRA chairman and member (academics).
The other member of the authority, Waqas Mehmood Kayani, manages matters on the registration of private schools.
As disclosed by a relevant official, the CADD had thrice recommended names for the top PIERA position but they didn’t sit well with the prime minister’s office, which rejected the summary every time with the direction to come up with fresh one.
The

official also insisted Mr Qureshi had also been holding the ‘look-after charge’ of the director general of the Directorate of Workers Education, a training institute for the employees of government and private organisations, since 2010 due to the absence of a permanent chief.
When contacted, CADD Additional Secretary Qaiser Majeed Malik said the division had been framing rules for the PEIRA, including those for the appointment of its chairman, in consultation with stakeholders and once the rules were ready and put into effect, a permanent appointment to the top PEIRA office would be made.

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