BY SHAHZAD PARACHA/SHAH NAWAZ MOHAL
–College officials speak about out Thomson’s incompetence, unprofessional behaviour
–Board of director fails in resolving college issues
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has extended the visa of Aitchison College Principal Michael Thomson, an Australian citizen, till February 2019.
Sources told Pakistan Today that Thomson’s three-year contract as the principal will end in March 2019 which is why the government has extended his visa. Also, the college higher-ups had asked for his visa to be extended.
Thomson first came into the limelight when he tendered his resignation from the institution, citing political pressure he was facing for taking disciplinary action against students who got involved in a fight inside the campus. However, he withdrew his resignation when the Punjab governor intervened in this matter. Interestingly, the college administration reinstated all students involved in the fight except one student named Azlan Khan. Earlier, Thomson had served in one ‘local street side’ school in Calcutta, India.
Pakistan Today conducted interviews of Aitchison College officials and they revealed shocking information about the principal as well as other higher-ups besides the board of directors’ incompetence towards college affairs.
PRINCIPAL MIKE THOMSON:
Aitchison College officials alleged that the principal had failed to maintain discipline in college nor did he introduce any reforms in the college despite him taking a Rs2.2 million salary.
The officials said that the college is no longer providing quality education and this issue is being ignored by higher-ups, including Chaudhry Sarwar, the chairman of the board of directors.
In addition to this, officials alleged that Thomson had once humiliated a faculty member while he was drunk. An official narrated this incident and said that he was taking a class and Thomson asked the students to throw papers at him without any reason.
Furthermore, the college administration once apprehended a few students for using drugs and the parents of those students were also aware of this but the administration failed to take any action against them. It is pertinent to mention here that before Thomson’s appointment, rarely did anyone use drugs in the college and if anyone was caught, they were dismissed immediately.
Yousaf Kamal, a faculty member had caught one student taking drugs but instead of taking action against the student, the college administration fired the teacher. The teacher appealed to the Lahore High Court (LHC) in this regard but justice is yet to be served. Officials also alleged that the college’s standard is deteriorating because of Head Mistress Amna Kamran’s excessive interference in college affairs. Officials further said that she is close to the principal and her appointment was carried out in violation of the rules and regulations of the college. “Amna Kamran, junior teacher, does not even possess a master’s degree and has been appointed as the headmistress of the senior school. The matter has been challenged in LHC and remains undecided,” officials added. The former principal had also sent a letter regarding Amna’s credentials to the board of directors chairman and other members but no action was taken.
ROLE OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
The role of the board of directors remains controversial because, in recent years, it has failed to provide relief to the students and faculty members. The students of the senior school had submitted an application against the former headmaster of the senior school, Zain Malik, who was dismissed from the college. Faculty members had also submitted a similar application against Amna Kamran but the chairman and the core committee have not taken any action yet.
There are many issues pertaining to the day to day affairs of the college but the core committee does not pay any heed to them. Pakistan Today tried to contact the college administration in this regard but no response was received till the filing of this story.