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Aitchison College students, parents stage protest against principal’s resignation

By News Desk

March 26, 2024 11:40 AM


Aitchison College students, parents stage protest against principal’s resignation

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A heavy contingent of police was deployed outside the Aitchison College building in Lahore on Tuesday as students and their parents staged a protest demonstration in support of Principal Michael A Thomson who had resigned from his post yesterday after developing differences with Punjab governor, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A large number of students and their parents were carrying placards inscribed with slogans in support of the principal. They demanded an end to the political interference in the affairs of the country’s most prestigious educational institution.

The police personnel were standing alert at the protest site to deal with any situation.

According to the TV channel, policemen have surrounded the building with water canons and erected barriers for security purposes.

PTI condemns governor's interference

Over the issue of the resignation of the principal of Aitchison College, a spokesperson of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) strongly condemned the Punjab governor's interference in the affairs of the educational institutes.

The PTI spokesperson demanded a comprehensive investigation into the matter and action should be taken against the responsible persons including Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman and others.

The PTI spokesperson also said the destruction of institutions is an old pattern and tradition of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and now they made a new effort to destroy one of the country's top educational institutions after destroying the entire state machinery, including the police, administration and judiciary.

Principal Michael Thomson resigns over differences with Punjab governor

Principal of Lahore’s Aitchison College Michael A Thomson resigned from his post after development differences with Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman yesterday (Sunday).
In a goodbye letter to his staff, Principal Michael Thomson wrote that the Governor House’s “partial steps” have ruined the governance at the educational institution. “Amid extreme bad governance I have left no other choice but to leave as destructive changes are being made to the policies just to benefit a few people,” he added.
The principal was under mental stress after development differences with the governor over waiving fines for children of influential people.
In his letter to the staff, he penned “You all know what’s is going on at the board level. There is no room for politics and nepotism in the schools. Too much interference in the affairs of school being run successfully is unbelievable,” he added.
Several parents of the schoolchildren have reacted strongly to the resignation of the principal, saying the governor has "gone nuts" and was resorting to victimization against the principal. They said the real feud between the governor and the principal was the admissions against merit. The governor last year the governor admitted over 50 children against merit, the parents said and demanded an inquiry against the governor.
It may be mentioned here that Michael Thomson had also tendered his resignation in September 2018 but took it back after the then-governor, Muhammad Sarwar, persuaded him to do so. He had resigned then allegedly under pressure from political circles for taking disciplinary action against some students.

Syed Babar Ali also quits as member of Aitchison's Board of Directors

Well-known industrialist Syed Babar Ali has also resigned from the Board of Directors (BoDs) of the country's prime educational institution Aitchison College.
98-year-old Babar Ali tendered his resignation from Aitchison's BoDs on February 6 due to health issues.
In the resignation letter, Babar Ali also praised Principal Aitchison College Michael A Thompson and said that he worked tirelessly for the college more than any other principal.
Babar Ali said Michael Thomson has not only been able to raise funds for three new boarding houses but has also been able to improve the quality of teaching in all three schools considerably.
Babar Ali asked to recognize Michael Thomson's services and said Aitchison had never before achieved better final academic results while Aitchisonion boys have been admitted to top US universities (Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, and others) and also to Oxford and Cambridge in greater numbers.
Syed Babar Ali is son of Syed Maratib Ali. He was born in Lahore on January 15, 1926. He is a Pakistani businessman, philanthropist, and former caretaker Finance Minister. He is the founder of Packages Limited, Milkpak Limited (now Nestlé Pakistan), and Lahore University of Management Sciences.
Syed Babar Ali's father Syed Maratib Ali owned shops in the Walled City and was a top contractor of the British Indian Army supplying them with services like logistics and all sorts of items used in regiments.
Syed Babar Ali received his education from Aitchison College, Lahore. He graduated from Government College, Lahore; for further studies, he went to the University of Michigan. He also briefly studied at Harvard School of Business.
He received honours and awards from the Government of Sweden, the Government of the Netherlands, an Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Britain (1997), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Laws from McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997).

Reporters: Imran Yunus and Tayyab Saif

 


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