Punjab govt to tell nazims to lay off school councils
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The Punjab government will direct the city government to strictly implement school council guidelines, binding the local government to discourage nazims to exercise influence on administrative affairs of schools, a senior Punjab government official told Daily Times on Monday.
He said the directions might be issued today (Tuesday) to follow the previous guidelines along with the fresh ones. He said Punjab Education Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari and City Nazim Mian Amer Mahmood had a meeting recently and the nazim promised to follow the guidelines. The official said it was decided that no nazim would be chairman of more than one school and that the headmaster or the teacher concerned will be the co-chairman and co-signatory of the council.
According to the official, the new guidelines had been prepared and would be issued soon. The guidelines would be binding on the city government to not remove the headmaster or the teacher concerned from the co-chairmanship, the official said, adding that the new guidelines would also be binding on the city government to not include male members for girl schools. He said parents of the schoolchildren would be included in the councils.
He said the council meeting would only be held in the school concerned and no nazim or the co-chairman of the council would be authorised to call the meeting at his home or office. “All meetings will only be held in schools,” the official said. He said the Punjab Education Department had already directed district governments in the Punjab to reconstitute and reactivate the councils in primary and middle schools as early as possible. According to the guidelines, the councils would ensure teacher attendance and the implementation of the school standards. He said the school councils would consist of at least seven members and parents would form 50 percent of the members.
Mothers would represent parents in girl schools. The school council would meet at least once every three months, and at least four times in a year. The council would spend money under the Punjab Education Sector Reforms Programme (PESRP) 2003-06 through the district government for repairs, procurement and maintenance of additional facilities and works pertaining to a temporary recruitment or replacement of teachers. The council would also supervise the distribution of textbooks to be given free of charge to Class I to Class V students under the PESRP. The Punjab government would also monitor the performance of school councils.
Naib Nazim Farooq Amjad Mir chaired a meeting on the issue on Monday where the council members demonstrated against the Punjab Education Department secretary, including the chairman, for five minutes. The participants passed two resolutions demanding that vacant lower-grade vacancies in the schools should be filled and the Lahore Development Authority hand over plots reserved for schools to the city government for free. The meeting fixed the January 24 deadline to provide the nomination lists of school council members.