Gilgit (ET): The prestigious Public School and College (PSC) in Gilgit, that has helped shape many futures since 1980, is currently engaged in a battle for its own survival.
Initially it was the government that had decided to bear 50 per cent of the financial expenditures of the institution. But today it has fallen down to 12 per cent, with the remaining being the responsibility of the school management. “It is becoming more and more difficult with each passing day for us to meet the rising expenses,” said vice principal of the school, Javed Aslam. “If we increase tuition fees, we have to face resistance from parents,” he added.
However despite all odds, the school management had kept the fee low, keeping the weak financial position of the parents in mind. “The salaries of staff have doubled in the past two years but we raised the tuition fee by a mere 20 per cent,” he said, adding that the school required a water filtration plant and some buses for transportation.
According to a survey conducted by the institution, its services for the area have been monumental. The establishment of Public School and College in Gilgit some three-decades back had proved to be the turning point in the history of the region. More than 60 per cent of the officials currently serving at the top positions in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) today received their education from PSC, the survey revealed.
Aslam said the students of PSC are serving in every field including army, judiciary, politics, bureaucracy and media. “We are proud that we have some contribution in the development of the society, region and the country,” he said.
The institution, which has separate buildings for girls and boys, currently has a strength of over 4,200 students and around 140 highly qualified teachers, besides 55 members of support staff.
Even this year, the institution upheld its brilliant record. Students from PSC grabbed all the top positions in the examinations of Matric, FSc and BSc which were held under federal board of education.
“I am convinced that it is one of the best institutions of the country. I say this with conviction as I have had some sort of association with many institutions of the big cities in the past,” said Masood Ahmad, a former student of PSC who is currently working as a senior official in a renowned NGO. Ahmad has also enrolled all of his three children in the school.
Until 1980, the year PSC was setup, G-B only had institutions that were run under the federal government and the quality of education was not their top priority. The deficiency, however, was somewhat managed with the launch of PSC, the first public school of G-B that started classes under the administration of Pakistan Army.
Mir Karamatullah, a Lieutenant Colonel at that time, was the first principal of PSC who set guidelines for the nascent school that has now transformed into one of the country’s most prestigious institutions. When the school started in 1980, it had 240 students, while majority of the teachers were hired from cities to fill in the deficiency in the region.
Spreading over 100 kanals, the school has a beautiful building with over 104 classrooms, three computer labs, eight science labs and one library with over 20,000 books. The teachers are paid as per government policy. The place also has on-campus accommodation.
“Despite all of this, currently the school management is striving hard to have the government support increased, as the rising prices of everything merit some sort of a financial support for the institution,” added another official