Monday, February 20, 2012

Shahbaz Sharif : ‘Where is your merit now , Mr CM?’

A strong campaign has started against Lahore Region Colleges Director Rana Naseem Akhtar in 73 colleges of the city where professor are alleging that Naseem’s appointment was made on the basis of favouritism, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.
College community alleged that Akhtar was the part of a mafia that had set up ghost centres at colleges and added that a group of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPAs had played a role in Akhtar’s appointment since they were running their business through him. According to college teachers, Akhtar, a junior officer, was made the director when there were more than 70 senior professors available to fill the slot.
“It is a tragedy that professors in grade 20 and higher are working under him,” a professor, asking not to be named, said. At a time when educationists are condemning the appointment of a third divisoner dean at historic Punjab University, college teachers have also started campaigning against the appointment of Akhtar. College teachers alleged that Punjab government was appointing third divisoners on important seats at universities and said the post of director colleges was not even advertised. “Such appointments are ruining the Education Department and it seems that there is nobody to advise the chief minister on these matters,” a professor, asking not to be named, said, adding “Punjab government is backing a candidate because of his strong background whereas merit is being violated, clearly.”
“We have spent our lives for the education department and now we are being sidelined during the tenure of CM Shahbaz Sharif. The CM does not bother to investigate what is going on in the colleges and that is destroying the education system,” another professor said, adding “where is your merit now, Mr CM?”
“Rana Naseem helps PML-N MPAs in their nefarious businesses and that is why he was appointed. We opposed this move but nobody paid attention to us,” a Higher Education Department (HED) official said. When contacted, Rana Naseem denied all allegations and said, “I was appointed on merit and I have taken many steps to improve the education system.” He said there was no rule that stopped a 19 grade officer from being the boss of an official in grade 20 or higher. He also denied being part of a mafia.

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