Kiss of Death for The Langlands School and College 

Kiss of Death for The Langlands School and College 

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Ihtisham-ur-Rehman

I was shocked a couple of days ago when I heard people talking about The Langlands School and College, terming it as a school for the well to do only. Some of them even boasted of being part of elite class and suggested, all yelling at me, that those who cannot afford the skyrocketing expanses could withdraw their kids from the school. One of them even boasted himself as a leader and representative of Chitralis, while the reality is he hasn’t even been able to get victory in local body elections.

In the meeting when I raised the issue and tried to compare Carey with Langland in terms of their policies regarding the school all yelled at me and termed Carey as a savoir of The Langlands School. It seemed to me that they were invited intentionally to oppose the middle and ultra lower class as the meeting was meant for the parents who had reservation over the uniform. But majority of them opposed it and endorsed the quality of the uniform—a burden on the parents of poor student. And by their discussion I sensed that they wanted to make the school a heaven for the elite class as the group who opposed me belonged to elite class.

When one goes through the papers and reports on the school it was not founded for the upper class only. In 1988, Wali Ur Rehman advocate, Nasir Ahmad and Pahlawan Bahadur of Zargarandeh approached Captain Javed Majeed, the then DC Chitral to open a school of quality education for the poor, ultra poor and middle class people of Chitral. Thus the school was established and its name was Sayurj Public School. When Major GD Langland joined as principal, he upheld the basic motto—quality education for the middle class. Kids of drivers, grocers, constables and poor people benefited from the school. Talented students belonging to poor families were able to get admission at GIKI, Aitcheson, Lawernce College, LUMS and FC College on the scholarship of Langland Trust.

It was since 2015 that the school was taken over by business men and women of the elite class. Now everything  is subject to free trade and marketing.

The transition of the school from a school for the middle class to a business model for the elite started when the school fee was raised up to 50%. At that time Dr. Faizi sahab raised his voice against it but, unfortunately, at that time too, the elite class became infuriated and opposed his voice.

The point is not an individual’s—a lawyer, a banker or a doctor—capacity to afford the fee and other expanses rather the majority—commoners—poor and ultra poor class who in the time of Langland availed the opportunity to admit their children in the reputed institution. I don’t doubt nor do I question the quality of education, be it Langland’s time or Carey’s. May be the quality has been made better in contemporary times, but on what expanse?

There are a few questions which I want to ask:

Did government invest 500 million rupees for the elite class? Did the government give its prime location, a guest house, to the school for the elite class? Was it made for the elite class? Can the middle class afford the expanses imposed on them by the business minded principal? Has she been able, like Langland, to get funds from the government or other funders? On what grounds the contract (without bidding) of providing the uniform has been given to Kublai Alam? What are his credentials in the field? Why were the parents of those kids (elite class) were invited in the meeting who were satisfied with the quality of uniform?

If the answers are in negative then the government must give an iron hand to the issue. An investigation must be conducted regarding the issue of uniform and its contractor that on what ground the contract has been given to Qubla Alam?

This matter needs to be looked upon both by the government as well as by all the stakeholders, especially by the middle class as the future of their children is on stake. If any step is not taken then this prestigious institutions will loose its integrity; endangering the future of hundreds of children belonging to poor and ultra poor class.

to be continued……..

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Pamir Times is the pioneering community news and views portal of Gilgit – Baltistan, Kohistan, Chitral and the surrounding mountain areas. It is a voluntary, not-for-profit, non-partisan and independent venture initiated by the youth.