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January 19, 2015

Watchdog for private schools gets another interim chief


January 19, 2015

The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has made one of its senior officials the chairman of Peira, the government regulator for private educational institutions in Islamabad.
However, Senior Joint Secretary Omar Hameed Khan will hold the post on an interim basis like his predecessor, PEIRA Member (Academics) Imtiaz Ali Qureshi.
“Omar Hameed Khan has been given the additional charge of the top PEIRA post until a permanent replacement is found. (His predecessor) Imtiaz Ali Qureshi, too, acted as a stand-in for the PEIRA chairman for almost 10 months while holding the ‘look-after charge’ of the position,” a CADD official in the know told this scribe on Sunday.
Established in 2006 to register and regulate privately managed educational institutions, this self-financing regulator is administratively overseen by the CADD.
The last permanent PEIRA chairman was Atif Mehmood Kayani, who had abandoned the office in June 2013 after he came in for strong criticism from the Supreme Court over a mere 14 years education, including a bachelor’s degree with very low grades.
In the BA examination, this appointee of the then prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, had secured third division (33%-44.99% marks), a pass rate category, which renders graduates ineligible for admission to the country’s most universities.
Earlier, Atif Mehmood, a Pakistan People’s Party leader from Islamabad, had stepped down as the director general of the Federal Directorate of Education, which oversees the city’s government schools and colleges, on the same ground.
According to the CADD official, the rules for the appointment of a permanent PEIRA chairman are ready and will be enforced for filling the vacancy on regular basis shortly after their approval by the relevant authorities.
He said Omar Hameed Khan had been given the additional duty on the orders of Minister of State for CADD Usman Ibrahim, who felt the senior joint

secretary’s stint at the interior ministry would help ensure strict security checks at the city’s private educational institutions with the help of law enforcement agencies, especially at a time when they faced terrorist threats in the wake of the massacre of 131 schoolchildren by terrorists in Peshawar a month ago.
Until now, PEIRA has registered around 1,150 private schools in the Islamabad Capital Territory. These educational institutions have enrolled 211,237 students, including 119,093 boys and 92,144 girls, and 13,860 teachers.

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