By Taimur K. Bandey
Over the past few years, I have heard many Pakistanis criticize Politics of Inheritance and have been aggressively attacking leadership of certain political parties for passing on the party leadership mantle to a son, daughter, wife, husband etc. However, the same people somehow don’t critique or see anything wrong in School management being transferred through blood line, irrespective of the competence, caliber, understanding or mind set of the next one in line to take over the School.
In the absence of a qualitative Public School system, there emerged a network of private schools to fill out the vacuum. All the leading School networks of today are led by visionary, competent, invested and bold women. They are surely pioneers who have led from the front and stood up to be counted when the state failed to serve us as obligated by the constitution of Pakistan. The Government’s hands up policy on education paved way for many private schools to emerge when it should have been solely the duty of the state of Pakistan. Since then these small ventures blossomed into giant business entities of today and ended up catering to millions of Pakistanis across the country.
Today, Public Schools are not even an option for many in the country.
While I understand the business element of Schools, what I can’t fathom is their treatment of it as a legacy of sorts that will be or should be passed on as inheritance…
Such an unprofessional approach will eventually deprive even the best of private sector schools their repute, success and quality of education. A doctor’s child can’t be a doctor or a lawyer’s child can’t be a lawyer, unless they go through the same training and experience to be qualified to be called the same. Similarly a School head’s child can’t be an automatic choice to lead the School based on inheritance. It’s time we consider and demand that education be seen from the same perspective as we consider other professions in the country.
Having said that a few Schools have seen a groomed and well trained son or daughter take charge and they have done well too in managing the affairs under the umbrella of the Mother still calling most of the shots or on their own. Their own academic qualifications from abroad and a bright head on their shoulders certainly helped the cause. However, in many other cases a completely non-academic and incompetent child, who is not even a shade of the mother, ends up sitting right on top messing up not just academics or day to day affairs of running a School, but also all the hard work of the much more competent and innovative Parent/ Head of School. His/her own academic limitations, low IQ and a non- learning mindset does not help the cause at all.
But who suffers at the end of the day? The students, the faculty, the system set by others and the private sector at large faces the brunt of such a callous decision to appoint a good for nothing child on top, who is leagues behind the acumen, thinking and potential of the parent who started it all.
There is of course a solution to this as well provided the Mother on top realizes the gravity of the situation. Either the incompetent child is kept miles away from academic or administrative decisions or running of the affairs and professional and more competent academics are appointed on such key positions or the “heir to the throne” is trained rigorously, sent for an education related degree, made to teach in class or be an understudy to a more accomplished academic.
In short it can’t be an inherited position, taken for granted at all. We are talking about the lives of young minds and livelihood of many professionals and lower staff members here. Its time education be taken seriously and more professionally by the Top brass of the education networks in the country or else the parent body demand the same off them, as from the looks of it things don’t look very bright at all. While some Schools exhibit this level of professionalism and caliber themselves, a few others don’t care about it and that’s where the Parent body needs to rise up and demand it as they are certainly not paying peanuts as a few to educate their child.
May God save us from such an inherited incompetence from a better and more qualitative private school system in Pakistan.
Taimur K. Bandey. Former Aitchisonian and Lacas graduate. Masters in International relations and political theory from UK. MPhil in Political Science. Former President of the debating society of Pakistan and former Vice Chair of the world schools debating championship. Taught A Level Economics for the past 20 years. Head of IB PYP, MYP and DP from 2012-2018 at Learning Alliance International. Presently an IB consultant setting up IB schools and programmes across Pakistan and director of Zohfar Pvt Ltd an education consultancy firm.