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Lahore

September 23, 2018
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FDE moves to strip principals of right to top offices

Lahore

September 23, 2018

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Islamabad : The teachers of Islamabad’s government colleges feel upset after learning about the Federal Directorate of Education’s (FDE) sudden move to strip them out of the right to its top offices.

They insist that the relevant FDE directors have acted mala fide by proposing to drive experienced college principals out of decision-making in the public sector education system of Islamabad Capital Territory to increase their odds of landing key positions in the directorate, which oversees local government-run schools and colleges totalling over 420.

The proposal to amend rules for recruitment to key FDE administrative posts comes amid the relevant authorities’ prolonged ad-hoc approach to the management of the directorate.

Currently, both own officials as well as college principals can hold the directorate’s positions, including the director general’s.

Under the current FDE recruitment rules, the permanent DG (BPS-20) is chosen by the prime minister’s office from among the directorate’s senior officials or college principals (BPS-19) after promotion.

However, the recently-abolished Capital Administration and Development Division, which had the administrative control of the FDE for many years, adopted a policy of ad-hocism towards the directorate by giving away its top position to own officials or deputationist as a ‘stop-gap arrangement’ instead of filling them on permanent basis.

Many politically well-connected appointees got their contracts extended against the rules to continue claiming fat salary and fringe benefits.

Recently after Imran Khan’s PTI took over the reins of government and its ‘plan’ to disband the made the rounds, the FDE moved a summary to the Establishment Division through proper channel for the approval of the proposed changes to its rules on recruitment.

Advocating the elimination of the principals’ right to the top directorate post, it insisted that as teachers, the college heads possessed neither the required skills nor the administrative/academic exposure to work as the FDE director general as their job descriptions fundamentally limited their experiences throughout the career to classroom practice for improving the overall learning outcomes of students.

As the summary is pending approval from the Establishment Division, the teachers of ICT government colleges have expressed concern about the FDE move.

Suspecting certain FDE directors have proposed amendments to recruitment rules to enhance likelihood of them claiming key posts, they warned that the ‘unreasonable’ proposal’s approval without consulting stakeholders would demoralise the principals, who had adequate administrative and teaching experience to deliver as the DG.

They also feared that the move could cause litigation.

“Changes to recruitment rules have been proposed in bad faith to keep educationists from even aspire for decision-making roles in the FDE,” a college principal told ‘The News’.

He insisted that the current rules rightly allowed principals to become the FDE chief as only they being in the field knew the real issues and challenges of the education system and could formulate pragmatic corrective measures to further the cause of education, while the directors had ‘little or no direct professional knowledge’ of education.

Another senior teacher strongly felt that said the presence of qualified and experienced principals made the race for key FDE positions competitive and if they’re banished, then the overall public sector education system of ICT would be the ultimate causality.

He also said most teachers holding administrative posts in colleges had come up with the goods to the satisfaction of their top bosses whenever they’re posted to the FDE, while some FDE posts were currently held by principals showing the relevant authorities’ confidence in their administrative abilities.

“We (teachers) look forward to the intervention of the PTI, which has come to power promising an end to ad-hocism and favouritism, and the rule of merit at all departments,” he said.

FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi was unavailable for comments on the matter for being out of the country.

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