The church will take control of four Christian schools

LAHORE: During its recent meeting, the Punjab Cabinet formally approved the handing over of administrative control of four nationalized ecclesiastical schools in Punjab to the Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of the United States.

Of these, two schools are located in Lahore and one in Rawalpindi and Sialkot districts.

Punjab School Education Department (SED) sources said that administrative control of Govt Saint Francis High School, Anarkali Lahore would be returned to the Catholic Church while the rest of the three including Govt Rang Mahal Christian High School , Lahore, Govt Christian Higher Secondary School, Raja Bazar Rawalpindi and Govt Christian Girls Secondary School, Haji Pura Sialkot would be returned to the Presbyterian Church, USA.

It is worth mentioning here that the handover of Christian schools to Church missions was the last item on the agenda of the 52nd meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by CM Usman Buzdar on March 21.

The Schools Department sources further stated that in the past many missionary schools, which had been nationalized in the 1970s, had been returned, but no consensus could be developed on these and other four schools. nationalized. They said that in addition to constant demand, there had been disputes over the matter also in the past at some of the four schools, but no final arrangement could be made.

It is pertinent to mention here that Govt Saint Francis High School, Anarkali is said to be the oldest of four schools established in 1842, Govt Rang Mahal Christian High School, 1849, Government Christian Higher Secondary School Raja Bazar, 1856 and Govt Christian Girls High School, Haji Pura 1857. A senior official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that only administrative control of these four schools would be handed over to the schools without any claims to the schools’ property and infrastructure. He said the ministry worked closely with stakeholders to finalize the arrangements. The official said more than 4,000 public schools were already operated under public-private partnerships in Punjab. “There is no harm if church missions can run these four schools successfully,” he said and claimed that some schools adopted by the CARE Foundation have improved their performance over the years. .

To a question, the official replied that the missions would be independent to manage the administrative affairs of the schools and could hire new teachers. He added that under the agreement, government teachers in these schools would continue to receive a salary from the state treasury while newly hired teachers would be paid by the missions. When contacted, Punjab Schools Secretary Ghulam Farid said that only the administrative control of the four schools would be given to Church Missions. He said it was an appropriate solution as many public schools were already run under public-private partnership in the province through the Punjab Education Initiatives Management Authority (PEIMA).

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