The current debate on the Langlands School and College (TLSC) Chitral depicts an ugly face of management and administration of the well reputed institution. The existing controversy is surely going to cause incredible dent to the institution, thereby to the future of hundreds of children of the remote area.
It is, however, pertinent to note that this institution should have an indigenous reliable system of administration with strong institutional leadership of a very senior educational administrator with convincing qualities, abilities and experience, beside the patronage and help provided by GD Langlands, Miss Carey Schofield or other education loving people. In this context, the two options put forward by Dr Inayatullah Faizi, in his article of June 24, have to be considered very seriously by the concerned educated nobles of Chitral, the district administration and the parents, in order to save the institution. Both the options have their practical manifestations with very good models available.
As the first option, Dr Faizi recommends to hand over the school along with the endowment fund to the chief minister KPK. The practical models are Divisional Public Schools working all over the country. It is significant to note that Divisional Public Schools were initiated in 1958-59, when the “Sharif Commission” recommended a phased plan for the development of residential schools, at the divisional level and desired that the responsibility of managing the affairs of such institutions be entrusted to the commissioners of the concerned divisions. The funds required to initiate their operation and maintenance were to be generated through private philanthropy. This model not being subsidized by the govt may be highly expensive and difficult to maintain for the people of Chitral.
The second option Dr Faizi has presented is to hand over the school and its endowment fund to Commander 11 Corps for running it as a Cadet College for Chitral. This option has two working models, but quite different in their approaches. One is Public School and College Jutial Gilgit, a renowned postgraduate institution, which is administered by Commander FCNA as Dy Chairman Board of Governors/executive authority with an officer from Army Education Corps as its Principal. It is being financed by the Govt of Gilgit-Baltistan, besides fees charged from the students. This institution has played highly significant role in human resource development in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The second model in option two is the pure form of cadet colleges, which are working both under the civil or military administration at different places in Pakistan. Such colleges, however, get their intake from class 8th through entry tests, thus are not available to all the students. DG Langlands School and College having multifaceted levels of education may not be converted into a Cadet College, though I fully agree that Chitral badly needs a separate Cadet College to be set up by the federal/provincial Govt or the private sector.
In this backdrop, I suggest that administration of DG Langlands School and College to be made more effective by adopting Public School and College Jutial (Gilgit) model. Its financing through the provincial Govt KPK, the Endowment Fund and the students fees will keep the institution viable for all times. Its administration through a blend of civil and military setup will surely overcome the issues, which it is currently facing. The Board of Governors may be wide ranging to include civil and military bureaucrats, technocrats, politicians and of course legendary people like GD Langland. In all cases the institution must be kept intact by the people of Chitral.