Aitchison College principal resigns over ‘political interference’

In Local
March 25, 2024


LAHORE: Aitchison College Principal Michael Thompson on Monday resigned from his post over alleged political interference by Federal Minister Ahad Cheema’s family, ARY News reported.

Michael Thompson stepped down from the post accusing the family of Federal Minister Ahad Cheema to force him to waive fees for the holidays.

The Aitchison College Principal maintained that he denied the request for a fee waiver, but the Governor House Secretariat used its authority to issue a notification waiving the fee.

Michael Thompson also announced leaving Pakistan in protest. He informed the college staff in a letter that he would be leaving his position as principal on April 1 and that he would not be participating in any management or admissions activities.

“Although I had no intention of leaving Aitchison College, I am now at a loss for what to do,” he added.

Michael Thompson said that he had tried his best as principal to uphold the college’s honor while showing kindness to those in need.

“However, there is a crucial difference between this pursuit and blatant policy manufacturing to accommodate certain individuals because such people simply insist on preferential treatment,” the letter stated. 

“Politics and nepotism have no place in schools,” he added.

Michael Thompson had also written a letter in 2023 a copy of which is available with ARY News, highlighting ‘violation’ of policy by the Governor Secretariat.

“During the last eight years, no one except the Cheema family objected to fee policy, Michael Thomson said in the letter.

Michael Thompson using ‘lame’ tactics to avert inquiry: Governor

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman said that an audit of the principal’s salary was initiated as he was receiving Rs4 million salary.

The governor went on to say that Michael Thomson used to take more than 100 days off annually, adding that he resorted to such tactics to avoid inquiries.

Balighur Rehman added that Ahad Cheema was posted in Islamabad for one year due to employment and his children were unable to attend the college.

“There was a request to waive the fees for the classes that the children did not take,” the governor added.

Balighur Rehman said that Michael Thomson had rendered his resignation twice in the past but the board did not accept the same owing to the unavailability of a new principal.

He said that last month, the appointment of the new principal was finalised.



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