November 26, 2016

No plans to hand over Turkish schools, Senate told

State Minister for Interior and Federal Education, Balighur Rehman Friday told the senate that Pak-Turk schools were not being handed over to anyone.
Replying to a calling attention notice raised by parliamentarians about the cancellation of the visas of Turkish teachers and staff of Pak-Turk schools, the minister said these were registered schools and educational activities in these institutions would continue.

He also said that that most of the teachers and other staffers in these schools were Pakistanis adding that Turkish staff in Board of Directors (BoD) had also voluntarily step down.

Replying on the visa extension issue of Turkish staff the minister said, “It was the right of any state to extend the visa of any foreign national or not.”

Visas of those expired on September were given time to leave the country by November 20, while some of Turkish families under hardship cases been extended up to December 31.

Meanwhile, talking to The Nation, the Pak Turk Education Foundation (PTEF) member said that the governing body this time is much concerned regarding academic activities in the schools and colleges.

“The exile order to Turkish staff spread severe uncertainty and tension among parents and students and management is trying to accept new realties,” he said.

According to management representative, currently the setup has not been given to another Turkish international non-governmental organization (INGO); however, the rumours are not dead yet.

Parents association and teachers in the last meeting had indicated a protest in future in case of handing over of Pak-Turk schools network to another INGO of Turkey.

There are around 28 schools working under PTEF and following the visit of Turkish president, government of Pakistan had ordered 108 Turkish staff members along with families to leave the country till November 20.

However, after the departure of the Turkish president, government has extended the stay of some Turkish staffers till the end of December.

Published on The Nation, 26 November 2016, Saturday