PESHAWAR: The historic Edwardes College Peshawar has been functioning without a regular principal for the last nearly three years resulting in serious administrative and academic issues and those at the helm of affairs have been unable to appoint a regular head of the institution.
The office fell vacant in December 2019 with the departure of former principal Nayar Fardows.
The board of governors of the college assigned the duty of running the affairs of the institution to a former faculty member till the arrival of a regular principal with emphasis on the early appointment of a full-time principal.
However, the regular principal could not be appointed during the last four years. Nayar Fardows, too, had continued holding the office for more than a year after the completion of his term in 2018.
For the interim period, the duty was assigned to a retired professor of the college, who is nearly 90 years of age and he has been holding the office for the last nearly three years.
Interestingly, the office of the vice-principal of the college is also lying vacant. There has been a tradition that the acting principal, who is a faculty member of the college, is assigned the duty of running the affairs of the college in absence of a regular principal.
But this tradition has been badly trampled during the past several years.
In 2021, new criteria for the appointment of college principal was approved in light of the Supreme Court decision. As per the new criteria, the Lahore Diocese Trust Association (LDTA) was authorised to recommend a panel of five and from among them the board of governors would pick one as principal after formally interviewing them.
The same year, the LDTA with the help of the Diocese of Peshawar recommended five names from the Christian community members for the prestigious office.
However, three among them were found ineligible, one declined to appear for the interview and thus the remaining one namely Dr Sharoon Hanook was appointed as principal of the college in January this year.
The new principal was asked to take charge of the office with immediate effect but he could not join the office. Thus, the historic institution continued to work under the caretaker management.
As per rules and regulations and traditions, the acting principal has always been appointed by the faculty.
At the completion of the contract of the former principal, the Rev. Dr David Gosling, the acting charge as principal was handed over to Syed Naseem Haider Kazmi.
The decision was taken in the meeting of the board of governors which was held on May 13, 2010. Syed Naseem Haider Kazmi became the acting principal till the appointment of the regular principal.
When Titus Pressler was terminated in December 2013, associate professor Noor Muhammad Khan was given the acting charge and associate professor Attaur Rahman Anjum was appointed as vice-principal.
In May 2000, when principal Robin Brooke-Smith resigned as principal, the then vice-principal Professor Muhammad Tariq was appointed as officiating principal by the governor, chairman Board of Governor.
Other obvious examples of the acting principals are, Professor Shamshad Ahmad, Professor Abdul Khaliq and Professor Abdul Hameed Khokhar remained the acting principals of the historic institutions.