Governor calls BoGs a ‘negative issue’
* Refuses to discuss ‘subsidiary issues’
LAHORE: Punjab Governor Lieutenant General (r) Khalid Maqbool on Tuesday called the issue of boards of governors (BoGs) in health and education facilities a ‘negative issue’ and refused to discuss the matter at all.
Talking to reporters after distributing endowment fund scholarships to students at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Governor Maqbool said the BoGs were a negative and subsidiary issue.
Commenting on the thousands of teachers, doctors and students demonstrating across the province, the governor said they were only ‘some’ elements and accused them of participating in anti-social activities.
However, when asked why he considered the BoGs issue ‘trivial’ and ‘negative’, the governor was unable to answer. “Let us talk about some healthy issues,” he said, “I have decided to not talk on these issues.”
Earlier, addressing the scholarship award ceremony, Governor Maqbool said the government always worked for the benefit of the public and the people of Pakistan. He said ‘some elements’ were against quality education and good salaries, adding that they were affecting the entire community. These people, he said, were a hurdle to the nation’s prosperity.
Now, the governor said, the government has stopped intervening in health and education issues. “Let these institutions decide their own responsibilities,” he said, adding that the government was not privatising these sectors. However, he added, the government would fund maintenance for colleges.
Referring to BoG members that were mostly from the elite of society, he said it was the present government that had involved the general public in the status bodies of these institutions. He said the public would have to differentiate between the cheap education, cheap opportunities and competitive education and competitive opportunities.
He said the government had started an endowment fund of Rs one billion, out of which scholarships worth Rs 20 million would be divided amongst higher education institutions.
The governor distributed 144 scholarships to the students of LCWU, Kinnaird College (KC), Home Economics College, Government Fatima Jinnah College, Chuna Mandi, and the Government Education College for Women. These scholarships include full tuition fees of one year. Later, talking to KC students, he said their college had been given degree-awarding status.
Speaking to the governor, an LCWU student commented that the government had introduced scholarships in all colleges, including elite institutions, but had not understood the reality of poverty in the province. She said her class had done a research report on the poorest areas of society, which were totally neglected. She asked the governor to work for the benefit of those people also.
Responding to the student, the governor asked, “What do you think? Do I not roam about the whole day to find out about the miseries of the people?”