Aitchison College’s Foreign Principal Resigns Over Political Interference From PML-N’s Governor Punjab

In a significant development at one of Pakistan’s prestigious educational institutions, Aitchison College, Principal Michael A Thomson has tendered his resignation, citing interference from the Punjab governor’s office among the reasons for his departure.

Thomson, in his resignation letter addressed to the governor’s secretariat and the college administration, cited “extreme bad governance” as a primary factor leading to his decision to step down from his position.

Reports revealed that the Punjab governor, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, allegedly exerted pressure to waive fees and fines for the sons of former bureaucrat and Federal Minister Ahad Cheema, despite objections from the college administration.

The Governor House, however, has stated that fee concessions were granted to Cheema’s sons on merit, as they were not attending the college during the period in question. They further clarified that the family had relocated to Islamabad, warranting the fee relaxation, which would also be extended to other students in similar circumstances.

In his resignation letter, Thomson emphasized the dignity and integrity of the educational institution, condemning political interference in its affairs. He expressed dismay over what he perceived as unwarranted interference and brazen directives from external sources, leading to a breakdown of governance and management.

He underscored the detrimental impact of politics and nepotism on the school’s operations, asserting that such influences had no place in educational institutions. Thomson wrote,

This is not how I planned to leave Aitchison, but I will share with you that a continuation of very poor governance has left me no other choice.

Thomson reiterated his commitment to upholding the school’s reputation and fostering a conducive learning environment but emphasized that he could not condone actions that compromised the institution’s principles. He announced his departure from Aitchison College effective April 1, relinquishing any role in the management of upcoming admissions.

Meanwhile, sources from the Governor House revealed that Thomson had previously tendered his resignation last year but was requested to continue serving until August. A search committee has been formed to appoint a new principal, with the selection process underway.

The resignation of Principal Thomson follows a similar move by renowned businessman and philanthropist Syed Babar Ali, who served as chairman of the school’s Board of Governors’ management committee. Ali’s resignation, attributed to health concerns initially, was also linked to the treatment of Principal Thomson regarding the issue of fee waivers for Mrs. Ahad Cheema’s children.

In his resignation letter addressed to Governor Baligh Ur Rahman, Ali praised Thomson’s contributions to the college, citing his efforts in fundraising and enhancing the campus environment. He urged the board to acknowledge Thomson’s exemplary tenure and expressed concern over the prevailing circumstances at Aitchison College.

The developments at Aitchison College have sparked discussions about the role of political interference in educational institutions and underscored the importance of maintaining institutional autonomy and integrity in fostering a conducive learning environment. As the search for a new principal commences, the focus remains on ensuring the continued excellence and reputation of Aitchison College.

  • Why the governer is doing personal favours for such members is questionable?. Why the governer is solving issues of powerful family members? Pmln has learnt anything so far or not?

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