ISLAMABAD - Reaffirming its demand, the teachers’ fraternity has called for filling the vacant slot of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) chief with some permanent appointment. The post has been lying vacant since Kayani’s removal and despite the Supreme Court’s orders to immediately appoint a new DG.

Professor Khalida Makhdum, Senior Vice President of Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), while talking to TheNation lamented, “Currently, there is no permanent DG working at FDE. Since Tajamul Hussain Shah is acting DG so he cannot take the decisions regarding educational matters with full confidence. It is need of the hour that all temporary measures and trials with post of DG FDE be stopped and the practice of appointing different DGs for morning and evening on the same day be permanently checked.”

This is no less than a joke not only with the education department based at Islamabad but also with the entire nation. It is, therefore, necessary to shelter and run smoothly the educational institutions under FDE, she added.

The FDE is the controlling department of all the educational institutions in the capital city and is passing through the worst era of its history. Unluckily in Pakistan, education has never been the priority of any of the governments in the past. One of the reasons may be that the kids of policymakers of this country study in high quality private institutions in the country or abroad. So they are least interested in bringing about vast changes and sharp rise in the quality of education being offered to the kids who are future of the nation.

The FDE is the biggest unit under Ministry of Capital Administration and Development and is responsible for education in the federal capital and its suburbs. The post of DG and its requirements have been clearly defined. He performs the administrative functions. The range of administrative roles and responsibilities of DG in the education sector, as head of FDE, is vast. This is the reason, in the beginning, the DGs have been appointed from the senior most professors of F.G. colleges who had a lot of experience of both academics as well as administration. They were fully aware of duties of every official under their administrative control and had established opinions regarding uplift of the educational institutions keeping in view need of the market, informed another member of the association and a senior teacher.

‘No doubt, a significant number of DGs were inducted from outside to enjoy the lucrative post and without any educational interest, but the real bad luck befell on FDE in the year 2000 when an army-backed man was appointed as DG FDE, the first significant critical situation in the history of FDE’, said Professor Tahir Mahmood, General Secretary, FGCTA.

During this regime, the teachers were kept away in all policy matters regarding education and FDE became prohibited area for them. So much so, no teacher could enter FDE before 12 PM and those visited found themselves aliens. So much so, even the principals, most of them had the same regular grade (BPS-20) which the DG enjoyed on contract basis, had to wait for hours which was indeed humiliation of heads of the educational institutions. Many so called training programmers were arranged but the purpose seemed beyond education because no marked difference and improvement has been seen in academics and administrative atmosphere in the attached institutions. The Brigadier left the department but the door was opened for other influential persons outside the department to this lucrative post. Hence, political involvement started to capture it that is still going on and for the last two months the post of FDE chief is still vacant despite having qualified candidates on its strength.