In the spotlight. Pakistan consul general Javed Jalil Khattak who supervises the functioning of His Highness Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum in Al Qusais where several teachers have been reportedly fired in recent months Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI Pakistani Consul-General Javed Jalil Khattak has backed a controversial school principal accused of arbitrarily sacking several teachers in recent months.

His Highness Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum School in Al Qusais, run under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Consulate General in Dubai, has been in the spotlight since its principal Dr Akhtar Waqas allegedly terminated the services of 15 teachers.

Adapt or quit

But Khattak defended the move. He said the teachers were relieved because they were not willing to adjust to new changes. “Whatever the principal has done was with my consent,” he told XPRESS. “The school was getting unsatisfactory ratings from KHDA for three consecutive years. It was on the verge of closure. Principal Dr Waqas has been trying to turn things around by introducing a slew of measures, but the teachers were not willing to adapt to these changes. So they had to go. You cannot make compromises when the future of 1,500 students is at stake,” he added.

But the argument doesn’t cut ice with the affected teachers.

Dr Javaid Iqbal who is among those given the pink slip said: “The school sacked me saying my degrees were fake. This is not true. I have been working at the school as a senior coordinator for two years and my academic certificates are genuine and duly attested. In fact, it’s the principal whose degrees are fake,” he claimed. Other teachers alleged that Waqas has been working illegally since March 2015 as he neither has employment visa from the school nor approval from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Principal Dr Waqas said the teachers were trying to malign him. He also denied reports that 15 teachers were fired. “We relieved four teachers and two support staff. That’s six, not 15,” he said.

Khattak said the school was undergoing an overhaul.

“The parents and students, who are the actual stakeholders, are happy with the changes. In any case, the KHDA inspection results will be out in 10 days’ time. Everybody will see for themselves how we have fared,” he said.

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