LAHORE:25 May: The Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) has been struggling to fill vacant positions of heads at several of the boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISEs) across the province and as the term of the government comes to an end it seems unlikely that appointments could be made. HED re-advertised the vacant posts of BISEs chairmen at seven boards that included Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal and Sargodha and had set May 8 the last date for receiving the applications. The department had given additional charge to divisional commissioners as it had failed to find suitable candidates for the boards as far back as 2016 and had restarted the whole appointment procedure several times. The divisional commissioners were heading Gujranwala, Sargodha and Sahiwal boards for over a year. Whereas, BISEs of Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, and Bahawalpur were being headed by the commissioners for the past five months as a stopgap arrangement. BISE Bahawalpur is without a permanent head since November 2017, Faisalabad since September 2017, Gujranwala since May 2017, Multan and Sahiwal since October 2017, Rawalpindi since March 2017 and Sargodha since December 2016. HED promotes 723 female college lecturers The department had faced several discrepancies during the matriculation examinations conducted under the supervision of divisional commissioners, including allegations of the paper leak at the Rawalpindi board and missing answer sheets in Gujranwala. The Sahiwal board question papers were also said to be circulating on WhatsApp before the start of the examination. College teachers had also raised objections on appointing commissioners to the posts of BISE chairmen. During its protest in April, the Punjab Professors and Lecturer Association (PPLA) demanded that educationists should be appointed against the posts of chairmen of intermediate and secondary education boards, instead of commissioners. This time around, the HED initiated the process and advertised the positions once again and received more than 100 applications for the posts of chairmen of the boards. The department had initiated the scrutiny process. However, the department is unsure about when it could make appointments at the boards. A senior official of the HED told The Express Tribune that the department had shortlisted 40 candidates for the BISEs chairmen posts for the various boards in Punjab. He said that the department was looking to schedule final interviews for the appointment process. HED Secretary Nabeel Awan did not reply to request for comments on the matter.Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2018.