Geoffrey Langlands regains control of Chitral school

Published: June 26, 2015



In what appears to be a coup, Major Geoffrey Langlands has retaken reins of his school in Chitral, more than two years after having retired.

With the help of the local authorities, Langlands, 97, managed to unseat his successor Carey Schofield.

Schofield had left her home in London to become the Langland School and College’s principal in 2013.

However, unhappy at the way the school was being run, Langlands moved swiftly to retake control of it when Schofield was visiting London. To make sure of the takeover, her visa was allegedly cancelled by Pakistani authorities, preventing her from returning.

“There is no question of her coming back, her visa is terminated and they are not going to renew it. That’s it,” Major Langlands told The Times.

“The local people don’t want the lady to come back.”

Langlands sought K-P cm’s help to retake control?

Langlands had met with K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak earlier in June to discuss affairs of the school.

According to a press release of the meeting between Khattak and Langlands on June 13, the retired educator told his former pupil that the school had remained closed in May owing to management issues, urging that its ‘dormant’ board of governors should be dissolved to make the school functional in a professional and transparent manner.

Khattak, who had studied under Langlands at Aitcheson College Lahore in 1960’s, assured him of every possible support and help to revive the school under a new management board, directing the district administrtion of Chitral to consult with Major Langlands to ‘save the insitution.’

In addition to Khattak, Langlands has also taught Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

School’s board of governors back Schofield

However the governing body of the school has given their “full and unconditional support” to Schofield.

In a statement, they wrote: “The Governing Body would like to place on record the courage and integrity that Miss Schofield has shown in tackling the problems of the school from the front.

“An individual of lesser integrity would have compromised and reached solutions which would have come at a terrible cost to the school.

“As a talented leader she has the capacity and the will to take the school to new heights.”

Langlands School and College board of governors chairman Raza Kuli Khan Khattak had said that Schofield has replaced inefficient staffers and has further improved the overall standard of education at the college.

When she took over the post in 2013, Schofield had lavished praise on the Langland’s contribution to education in Pakistan. She then dedicated herself to reviving the fee-paying structure of financially strapped institution.

He never really wanted to go: Schofield

Schofield, though, has since defended her record, insisting she had implemented much needed reforms.

“He never really wanted to go” she explained.

Things were not that good in the beginning and the relation between us deteriorated after I took over and made a very frank report to the governors. Major Langlands was staggered that anyone should tell the truth.

“He still believes he was running the best school in history.”

This article originally appeared on The Telegraph

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Asim Mirza
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:15AM

    Looks like the major has adopted Pakistan truly. Taking over by a Fauji Style, and using his cronies to bar her unethically. The lady should have given the chance as the board is backing her and if thing would not sort out, the whole board would have been responsible. As a nation, we dont have patience for the procedures, and the major is no exception.
    Now the whole media wants to bypass constitutional requirements and wants to allow the general to takeover without bothering that it was the generals who created the mess at the first place.Difference between fools and wisemen is that fools always expect different results from same experiment.Recommend

  • Jun 26, 2015 - 10:50AM

    As his student, i have always been an admirer of Mr. Langlands, however at the age of 97 years perhaps he is too old to take a wise decision. Miss Schofield since joining as head of the school had done tremendously well as has admired by all and sundry in the District. She was instrumental in increasing the salary of teachers which was earlier pathetically low and introduced many other reforms and discipline in the school. Showing her the door in this way while she abroad is not any way justified. She should be given a proper charge sheet and give her opportunity to defend herself. It is very disrespectful on our part to throw her out while was selflessly serving the underprivileged area with selfless spirit and dedication. There is no point for her otherwise to come all the way from Great Britain to one of the underdeveloped district of Chitral. We should acknowledge her services and show at least some respect towards her. Recommend

  • Jun 26, 2015 - 10:55AM

    “fools always expect different results from same experiment” holds good for our political system, more than anything else. A hundred more elections will churn out same trash rather worsen the quality of trash with each successive election as we are experiencing. We have never had an honest dictator, that is why we curse dictatorship. An honest fellow whenever he comes in whatever form (including uniform) can turn the country around. Regarding Maj Langland, he should be forced to retire respectably as he is 97 and would be in an old home if he were in England. The Lady Ms Schofield has done good to the school acclaimed by one and all. She should be reinstated on merit.Recommend

  • Saeed
    Jun 26, 2015 - 11:42AM

    As a former student of Maj. Langlands I admire and love him for his contribution and dedication to education in Pakistan. Unfortunately he is being manipulated by a coterie of old retired dinosaur bureaucrats who are his advisors. Carey was doing a great job of sorting out the issues left behind by the nonagenarian major. He made tremendous contribution to the school and education in chiral, that cannot be denied, and he should be held in the highest esteem, but there is a time to retire. The governing board should stand firm on this and stand behind Carey. Recommend

  • Aftab
    Jun 30, 2015 - 7:51AM

    Like Imran Khan and Saeed, I am too a student of Mr Langlands. And I agree with what they have said. Recommend

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