The DJ College controversy takes a new turn after the transfer of the director by the government

Despite its protected status, unauthorized construction work is ongoing at the historic DJ Science College.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: The controversy surrounding the DJ Science College took another twist when the Sindh government transferred Professor Meher Mangi from the post of headmaster of the college, it revealed on Tuesday.

The decline in new college admissions, the proposal to move government offices into the premises and now the transfer of the college principal have raised alarm bells in affected neighborhoods, who have found the development mysterious and a suspicion of a conspiracy against the ‘educational institution.

Prof. Mangi, as the principal of the college, had noticed and denounced the admissions into the historical educational institution that occurred against merit.

The decision came at a time when Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah recently ordered an investigation into an 85% drop in new admissions to DJ Science College after opposition parties branded it a conspiracy. aimed at installing government offices in the oldest and one of the most prestigious in the city. educational institutions.

In a recent letter to the department of college education, Professor Mangi pointed to admissions against merit in a prestigious institution

The college education department ordered Professor Mangi to work under the 19th grade principal at Jinnah Government College despite being a 20th grader.

Prof. Mangi has been replaced at DJ College by former acting colleges chief executive and current finance director, Prof. Rashid Mahar, who was recently promoted to 20th grade. His new appointment as headmaster of the college was signed by the Chief Secretary of Sindh, who also issued the transfer order for Professor Mangi.

A few days ago, Professor Mangi had written to the department of college education that admissions to his college’s new faculty of computer science were granted to students who had obtained grades “C”, “D” and “E”. to their matriculation exams. .

This is the first time in the history of DJ Science College that admissions have been granted to students with poor and low grades.

According to the outgoing director’s letter, only 12 “A-1” grade students, 11 “A” grade students and 19 “B” grade students were admitted to the Faculty of Computer Science, which had 106 admissions. Meanwhile, 34 students with a “C” grade and 26 with a “D” grade have been admitted.

Just last week, Education Minister Sardar Shah told Dawn that there were no proposals to establish provincial government offices at the premises of DJ Science College.

He also vowed to take tough action against those responsible for denying admission to one of the city’s most prestigious colleges.

He said he ordered the college education department to fill the capacity of the college. “Those who have been admitted to other colleges can opt to transfer to DJ College,” he said, adding that colleges have been instructed to issue transfer certificates to students who want them.

However, the Minister specified that priority would be given to students residing in localities neighboring the college.

Regarding the establishment of provincial government offices in the premises of the college, he said that it was suggested to set up Urdu and English language learning centers in one of the empty blocks of the college to provide training for language teachers in private schools.

He said the department had decided to establish teacher language learning because private schools had pointed out that they did not have competent language teachers.

The Jamaat-i-Islami, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pak Sarzameen parties had accused the Sindh government led by the Pakistan People’s Party of plotting to encroach on the historic building.

They explained how the college, which had always remained the top priority for Karachi students and their parents, had “mysteriously” seen an 85% drop in admissions amid government proposals to use DJ College premises at different “multiple purposes”.

They said locating government offices in a protected heritage building was an outright violation of the Sindh Cultural Heritage Act 1994.

Additional reporting by Tahir Siddiqui

Posted in Dawn, November 23, 2022

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