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Stalled for years: school for kids of KU staff hits more snags

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Stalled for years: school for kids of KU staff hits more snags
« on: November 14, 2020, 12:23:18 PM »
Stalled for years: school for kids of KU staff hits more snags
KARACHI:14 November:A long-delayed school aimed at providing the children of staff at the University of Karachi (KU) quality education on-campus may have narrowly missed controversy, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Unable to commence the school for seven long years, the trust responsible for the stalled project had been all set to bypass legal requirements in a bid to revive it, a top source has revealed. The decision to establish the ‘Sardar Yasin School’ to provide KU employees living in the KU Staff Town an in-varsity facility for their children’s education was taken all the way back in 2013.

Sardar Yasin Malik, who offered his namesake to the proposed secondary school, told The Express Tribune that he offered to establish it after the university’s then vice chancellor Dr Muhammad Qaiser expressed his desire for such an amenity. But years went by and many of the proposed school’s prospective students matriculated, with the school no closer to seeing light of day.

This was despite the fact that land for the project was allotted to the Sardar Yasin Malik Trust, which is responsible for commencing the school. Although a school building was built, according to sources, little effort had been put into preparing it for its first academic session. Now, the management board of the proposed school has been forced to stop the trust from opening it after it was learnt that the latter had decided to forego some crucial formalities in a bid to expedite it.

“The issue came to light during the first meeting of the board, which was held recently,” a member of the board told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity. “Briefing the board on the status of the school, representatives of the Sardar Yasin Malik Trust told participants that they were willing to open the school immediately.” “When the VC and several other board members asked whether the school had been registered with the relevant wing of the Sindh government, it was learnt that no application for this purpose had been sent,” the board member added.

“As such, the board members objected since the oversight would have rendered the school illegal.” According to the board member, participants of the meeting also asked the trust whether a principal and teaching staff for the school had been hired. The trust’s representatives were also questioned on what academic model and syllabus they planned to follow and whether a financial plan was finalised. “No satisfactory answers were provided on each of these counts,” he said.

“Members were told an advertisement for the principal’s position had been published, but when they asked to see it, the trust could not do so. The same was the case with the financial and academic plans,” he added. “In light of this, the board decided to halt commencement until staff was hired in a transparent manner and financial and academic plans were finalised.” The board member, however, pointed out that the trust was not alone to blame for delays in operationalisation.

According to him, the board itself was complicit in this regard as well. “This board was established last January. It has taken 21 months for its first-ever meeting to be conducted,” he said. “The board has taken no other concrete steps to establish the school either.” Speaking to The Express Tribune, school board member Muzaffarul Hasan blamed some of the delays on the coronavirus pandemic. When asked about the school’s financial plan and fee structure, he only said that fees would be ‘very low’ and would be used to pay all salaries.The news.
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