Unlikely candidate: Appointment of inter board chairperson met with criticism

Published: June 3, 2015
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KARACHI: The Sindh governor’s adviser on higher education, Akhtar Ghori, has been appointed chairperson of the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi (BIEK), on Wednesday.

He will take charge on June 20 and will replace Anwar Ahmed Zai, who became chairperson on January 7, 2011 and has also enjoyed an extension of two years.

Academic circles have also expressed their reservations on the appointment of Ghori, who has also served as chairperson of the Sindh Board of Technical Education and has been accused of corruption during his tenure.

According to the BIEK controller of examinations, Imran Chisti, the post of the board chairperson is tenure-based. “The law asks us to either replace the existing chairperson or reappoint him after every three years,” he explained.

The decision to appoint Ghori has also sparked questions about its legality, as, according to sources at the board office, the legal process for the appointment of this post has been completely ignored.

“A committee at Chief Minister House gives the advertisement for the post, following which three candidates are shortlisted after interviews, out of which one is selected by the chief minister,” the source said, clarifying that the chairperson of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Larkana, Muhammad Daud Memon, was appointed through this process. “However, this procedure was completely ignored in the appointment of Ghori.”

Ghori’s appointment was initially recommended by Governor House, which was, at the time, rejected by the CM. It is alleged that millions of rupees were lost to corruption during Ghori’s tenure at the technical board and he failed to take action.

As Ghori is not an educationist but a bureaucrat, his appointment has also been criticised by stake holders in the field of education. The programme director of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Baela Raza Jamil, told The Express Tribune that the appointment of Ghori reflects the government’s level of concern about education.

“Appointing a nonprofessional creates an educational emergency in society,” she said, adding that they can handle the administrative affairs but not educational policies.  Ghori did not respond to repeated calls made by The Express Tribune for a comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2015.

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