Team probing harassment of Bahria College students claims to find ‘evidence’ of guilt

Two-member committee submits its report to FDE pending further action


Asma Ghani June 12, 2018
Bahria College. PHOTO: BAHRIA COLLEGE/ FACEBOOK

ISLAMABAD: A probe committee has apparently found sufficient evidence against a government college science teacher who was accused by multiple students of sexually harassing and molesting them during a board examination late last month.

A two-member fact-finding committee constituted by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) said that it had found the teacher guilty.

The two-member committee, comprising two principals of colleges working under the FDE, met with students — both girls and boys — who had appeared in the exams, and their parents. The committee members also visited all the institutions where the invigilator was been deputed to invigilate exams since 2014.

Officials said that over a dozen students of Bahria College appeared before the committee and recorded their statements alleging harassment.

The committee also collected old complaints of students from various educational institutions.

Some students, who are currently studying at university, also approached the committee to record their statements.

Officials said the inquiry had unearthed substantial evidence against the invigilator to declare him guilty, adding that the committee had submitted its report to the FDE. The findings provide enough evidence and information suggesting that he’s guilty, stated FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi.

He said that the authority will appoint an officer of basic pay scale(BPS) grade-19 to issue a charge sheet to the accused.

Subsequently, the invigilator will be asked to defend himself. Should he fail to do so, the officer will recommend a penalty which can range from dismissal from service or demotion.

The probe committee had been constituted after intermediate students of Bahria College Islamabad had levelled harassment accusations against the invigilator on social media in the last week May.

They claimed that the teacher had been deputed at the upscale college by the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) for the biology practical exams spread over three days, from May 24 to May 27.

After receiving complaints, the college lodged an official complaint with the board. It had explained that the students were afraid of directly lodging complaints out of fear of being penalised in their exams. The college also requested to take strict disciplinary action against the invigilator, demanding that he be barred from such duties in future. It further asked the FIBSE to nominate lady invigilator in future to avoid such incidents.

On May 30, both, the FDE and FIBSE formed their own inquiry committees to probe the matter. The college had set up its own inquiry. The board, it has been learnt, has blacklisted the examiner while the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has suspended him. The teacher, though, has denied the charges.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2018.

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