SADIQ Public School, Bahawalpur, is one of the premier educational institutions in the country. It was built on more than 450 acres by the late Nawab of Bahawalpur, Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, and started functioning on Jan 18, 1954. The school was built under Makhdoom Zada Hassan Mahmood, who was then the chief minister of the state of Bahawalpur and father of the present governor of Punjab, Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood.
Sadiq Public School was made by the Nawab on the lines of Eton and Harrow, both of which were and are still premier public schools in England, having produced about 27 prime ministers. Eton was established in 1440 and Harrow followed in 1572 and both still exist and function to this day on the same original philosophy based on which they were established.
Sadiq Public School has suffered since the Zia era when incompetent and financially compromising principals were installed in this unfortunate school, trampling merit.
The school’s original philosophy and traditions have been diluted and in some cases abolished altogether over a period of time by these successive principals who had no inkling as to what the original intent of this school was. As if this was not enough, the previous governor of Punjab agreed to disfigure this magnificent institution beyond recognition. He agreed to convert it into a university just because a foreign country was prepared to provide funding for this purpose.
This decision smacked of ill will. It provided sheer delight for the few who saw some tempting kickbacks coming their way. This funding should be welcomed but not for a new university in another backward area as there already exists Islamia University in Bahawalpur.Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood, the present governor of Punjab, saved the school from deterioration.
On Feb 9, at a meeting of its board of governors, he scraped this ill-conceived idea of destroying Sadiq Public School beyond recognition. He also directed the executive committee of the governing body to immediately implement the remedial steps to bring back its past glory by restoring the original intent, traditions and excellent academic standards synonymous with Sadiq Public School.
Old Sadiqians like me are thankful to the governor of Punjab for this timely intervention and help in saving one more institution from being put out of its aims and objectives.