Monday October 18, 2021

Edwardes College’s management dispute resolved

PESHAWAR: With the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the longstanding dispute about the management of the historic Edwardes College has been resolved and now as per the apex court verdict it would be run and managed under the overall supervision of the Board of Governors headed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor.

The college had already been run under the same board of governors, but during the tenure of the previous principal retired Brigadier Nayyer Fardows, a parallel board was constituted under the chairmanship of Bishop of Peshawar. A case was also moved in the Supreme Court, seeking validity of the new board.

The former principal had also declared the college as a private institution and thus a separate board was constituted to run it. However, the court dismissed the claims of the former principal and the Bishop, which they had based on another court verdict. A government petition to this effect was allowed by the Peshawar High Court and thus the original board of governors was restored.

The Bishop, who is also the vice chairman of the board, challenged the decision of the Peshawar High Court in the Supreme Court in November 1019. But the Supreme Court in a recent decision upheld the Peshawar High Court verdict. According to the court decision, the provincial government shall propose the criteria for appointment of the principal of Edwardes College Peshawar and place ot before the board of governors.

After the approval by the board of governors, the criteria would be conveyed to Diocese of Lahore for search and nomination of five persons qualifying the criteria. The list of the nominated persons for the office would be placed before the board of governors, which would make appointment of the principal, the court directed.

The court further instructed that Edwardes College Peshawar should be run and managed strictly on professional lines under the overall supervision of the board of governors headed by governor of the province.

The board had been constituted in January 1974 in line with the Taking Over Regulations No 118 of 1972 about the college. The board as per the notification shall be comprised of governor as chairman, the minister for education as vice chairman, Bishop of Peshawar as vice-chairman, and vice-chancellor University of Peshawar, commissioner Peshawar, secretary finance, secretary higher education, and director of education as members. One member of the faculty and staff to be elected by staff members for the term of three years and one senior old boy of the college would be nominated by the chairman for three years. Besides, one member each would be nominated by the Bishop of Peshawar and principal of the college.

The board had been actively supervising and running the affairs of the institutions until the crisis erupted a few years ago. Amid the crisis and massive protests by the students and teachers of the college, the former principal quit the institution and a retired professor Zakiur

Rahman was given acting charge. The college is still being administered by the acting principal.

Now that the original board has been formally restored, it is expected that the administrative issues of the college would also be resolved once and for all.