Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Srinagar, Sept 27 (Only Kashmir): While the Minister for Education, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, urged the students to be present in the Valley schools on Monday, his son and a close relative were absent from their school in Srinagar. However, in the afternoon, the minister was asked by the school authorities to ensure that his son is sent to the school to avoid embarrassment.Peerzada’s son and relative study in Tyndale Biscoe School in the heart of the Srinagar city. “Both of them were absent,” said their fellow-students, who had gone to school today.An official in the school, who requested not to be named, confirmed that the Minister’s son was initially absent. “He would come to the school under a security cover. But today he didn’t turn up in time. But after everybody looked for him, the school administration called the minister and asked him to send his ward to the school to avoid any embarrassment over the matter,” the official said.The school sources said its administration today marked attendance on a plain sheet of paper and not on the attendance registers, as is the norm. “The Minister’s son was absent. But the school authorities deliberately marked the attendance on a plain sheet so that Peerzada’s son is marked present, if the need arises,” he said.
Sources said all eyes were on the minister’s son and his relative on Monday. “They study in the lower classes. Everybody looked for them, curiously. But nobody was able to locate them till afternoon. In fact some of the media persons wanted to interview them, but an official told them that they are absent,” the sources said. “The minister’s son, however, was seen in the school compound in the afternoon.”Sources said the absence of the duo drew flak from many parents, who accused the Minister of protecting his relatives while putting other children to trouble. “It is unfortunate that the state ministers urge students to attend their schools while keeping their children away from the institutions.
Peerzada’s son visits the school under a security cover. If he is not able to do so even under police cover, how can other students reach the schools without any security and amid curfew?” asked Muhammad Shafi, a parent.
Pertinently, Peerzada had Sunday made a passionate appeal to the parents to send their wards to schools. “At any cost we will not allow that the academic session of our students should go waste. The educational institutions, which were closed so far in Srinagar and other major towns, will restart functioning from Monday. All the steps in this regard have been taken. This includes providing transport facility and security to the students, teaching and non-teaching staff. We urge the parents to cooperate with the government in this endeavour,” he had said.But his words fell flat on ground when his son was seen absent. “Charity must begin at home. The minister should be the first person to urge his relatives to attend schools, in time,” Shafi said.
Peerzada Muhammad Sayed was not available for comments. His mobile phone was picked up by his telephone operator. “The minister has left his phone at home. He has gone to the CM house to attend a meeting,” the operator told Greater Kashmir.


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