Aitchison College principal resigns over ‘preferential treatment’

Politics and nepotism have no place in schools, says outgoing principal

Aitchison College Principal Michael A Thomson

LAHORE: Aitchison College Principal Michael A Thompson submitted his resignation on Monday, alleging ‘unwarranted interference and brazen directives’ from the Punjab government regarding fee waivers for Ahad Cheema’s sons.The resignation came after Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman allegedly ordered the principal to waive the fees of Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ahad Cheema’s sons – Esa and Mustafa Ahad Cheema.

After completing an eight-year tenure, the 18th principal of the prestigious institution penned a heartfelt resignation addressed to his staff.

The outgoing principal said he strived to maintain the school’s reputation while practising compassion. However, he pointed out that he was compelled to accommodate “certain individuals” who engaged in “blatant policy manufacturing” within the school management system.

“Politics and nepotism have no place in schools,” the letter read.

Highlighting recent actions by Governor House, the principal noted, “Over the past year, other prejudiced actions by Governor House have contributed to a breakdown of governance and management”.

“A well-intentioned foreigner does not venture to another country with less than pure intent,” said Thompson and concluded the resignation with a blessing for Pakistan and its citizens.

‘Shifting to Islamabad’

The federal minister stated that “the issue of fee waiver is being “presented in a different light”.

Cheema claimed that his family, including his wife and two children, are shifting to Islamabad and hence had requested the fee to be waived. Cheema claimed his sons were still issued the fee challans.

The minister maintained that no one should pay fees after leaving the school.

He further claimed that Principal Thompson had already submitted his resignation and was only expected to serve until August 2024.

Cheema added a committee for hiring a new principal has already been formed.

The order released from the Governor’s Secretariat Punjab, in response to a request filed by the wife of Ahad Cheema, Saima Ahad Cheema, stated to ‘review’ the decision concerning the reservation of seats and leave of absence granted to her sons.

Saima Cheema pleaded that being a civil servant and ‘salaried’ class, she was unable to pay the dues of both Aitchison College and the prospective school the children were to be admitted to after the family moved to Islamabad.

Founded in 1886, Aitchison is one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutes in Pakistan. The sitting governor of Punjab has a say in the affairs of the college as the president of the board of governors. .. Source

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