LAHORE:A LARGE number of Kinnaird College (KC) students on Monday blocked the Jail Road as they protested against the sacking of seven faculty members by the college’s principal.removal , principal
Faculty members, including heads of four departments, were shown the door by KC Principal Prof Dr Bernadette L Dean on 23 December after which the college was closed for annual winter holidays.
The college reopened on Monday and a large number of students expressed resentment over the decision. They protested against the principal’s decision and called for the removal of the principal. Some teachers also joined students and expressed concern over the move. The principal had claimed that the decision was made in the best interest of the college.
On Monday, students first protested on KC premises and later came out of college and chanted slogans on the Jail Road. The demonstration resulted in a traffic mess on the Jail Road and adjacent roads, creating problems for motorists and motorcyclists. Some teachers then succeeded in persuading students to go inside college. Students on their return did not stop their protest.
A college teacher seeking anonymity said no class was held on Monday as students were protesting action against faculty members. She said college peons stopped teachers who had got stay on repatriation orders. Teachers were allowed to enter the college after they showed stay orders, the teacher said.
The teacher also alleged that some students who took part in protest on Monday were also maltreated by college administration.
Another faculty member seeking anonymity claimed that teachers were being victimised as they were against ‘affiliation’ of KC with the Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB). “Dr Dean has come from AKU and wants to affiliate KC with AKU-EB for intermediate classes,” she said.
Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif had stayed repatriation orders of two KC teachers and the Punjab Higher Education Department had also asked the KC principal to wait for inquiry into alleged misuse of power in appointment of KC registrar. KC teachers had moved an application to the college’s Board of Governors alleging the appointment of the registrar was unjust and unfair. The sacking of teachers is being seen as ‘victimisation’ for raising voice against appointment of the registrar.
Talking to The News, Dr Bernadette L Dean said KC had almost 4,000 students but only around 100 students took part in the demonstration. “We want that students should not be involved in the issue,” she said adding students were being instigated by some teachers.
Dr Dean categorically rejected the ‘rumours’ of KC affiliation with AKU-EB, saying: “This is part of disinformation campaign by teachers”.
“We need to maintain dignity of this institution. We want to make it the topmost institute of South Asia and the world,” she added. She also denied that the protesting students were maltreated.THE NEWS
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