ISLAMABAD - Intense lobbying has started for the lucrative slot of chairmanship of the National Education Foundation as its former chairman Sabeeh Qamar-uz-Zaman has formally relinquished his charge following his removal from the post by the Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gillani on March 13, 2009. He worked as chairman of the NEF for four years and now the charge was given to Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani temporarily. It has also been learnt reliably that the government would appoint MD instead of chairman according to the ordinance of foundation, which has Rs 700 million budget annually. The former chairman has also moved the court alleging that he has been removed illegally as he had refused to appoint political workers on 54 posts of the foundation according to the whishes of the government. Sabeeh Qamar-uz-Zaman, a retired Lieutenant General with experience of teaching military men during service joined National Education Foundation, Ministry of Education, in 2005 as chairman of the Board of Governors. The job was honourary so initially he never claimed any salary but expenses on his accommodation, travel, functions, servants were never calculated and had been estimated in millions annually. He installed security cameras, threatened employees, by-passed secretary education, promoted contract employees in officer cadres, sacked some and violated all norms and procedures, said a teacher requesting not to be named. No Managing Director was being hired by the foundation and he assumed the role of chairman against the rules of the ordinance. Only 3000 schools were added to already existing 10,000 Non-formal Basic Education Schools, which is the major project of the NEF, said an official of the foundation. A national project for establishment of 10,000 Non-formal Basic Education Schools at a cost of Rs1263.375 million for the duration of 5-year had been initiated under the Prime Minister Literacy Commission in 1996 but later on after the closure of the commission it was transferred to the NEF. The project was revised in 1998 at a cost of Rs11214.896 million with enhanced scope of 82,000 Non Formal Basic Education Community Schools. On the approval of Planning Commission, the implementation period of the project was also extended. At present over 10,185 BEC schools are functioning throughout the country. The dropouts and miss outs of age group 10-14 will also be covered in addition to age group of 4-9 years. It is estimated that 1.52 million learners will benefit of primary level education. Free education with flexible timings is provided to poor people living below poverty line. The project of BEC schools is in fact aimed at supplementing and complementing the government efforts to achieve literacy rate of 87 % by 2015. Pakistan is committed in international forum to achieve these targets.