LAHORE:30 August: After inquiries lasting two years, 94 heads of government-run schools in Punjab have been cleared of charges of inefficiency and misconduct. Inquiries against the heads of public schools had been ordered under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act (PEEDA) 2006 due to their alleged inefficiency and poor performance. The charges had been levelled against principals, in basic pay scales (BPS) 19 and 20, since December of 2016 and inquiries were being conducted against the teachers. A notification, explaining the charges and absolving the principals by the Punjab School Education Department (SED) read, “The chief minister/competent authority initiated joint disciplinary proceedings under Section 3 of the PEEDA Act 2006 against the following officers on the charges of inefficiency and misconduct on account of showing poor performance during their three years tenure as heads of their respective schools evaluated on the basis of various educational Indicators, and constituted an Inquiry Committee under convenership of Mushtaq Ahmad Sial (BS-20), Additional Director Public Instruction (SE) Punjab, Lahore.” Commenting on the decision, Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU) General Secretary Rana Liaquat Ali said it was a welcome development that the principals were finally given a clean chit. He said the principals had been facing an investigation for almost three years and were not proven innocent of the charges. He, however, questioned who would take up the responsibility of the humiliation faced by these teachers. Earlier in the year, the SED had cleared 273 school heads of similar charges after long inquiries in which the accusations could not be proven.Published in The Express Tribune, August.