ISLAMABAD-Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training failed to appoint permanent head of Federal Directorate of Education in 3 years, a body regulating above 400 public-sector schools and colleges in the city, officials said on Saturday.

The post of Director General FDE fell vacant in 2016 after the retirement of Dr Shahnaz Riaz.

Senior teachers informed The Nation that non-seriousness of the ministry regarding appointment of the permanent head of FDE has affected the performance of the department. “There is no consistency in the policy because a new head is appointed after short period,” said a senior official wishing anonymity. The official said that there are 423 educational institutions, with around 15,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and nearly 250,000 students under the FDE, but the government did not have a suitable person to lead this department.

The previous government also failed in appointing permanent DG FDE despite Rs4 billion worth of Prime Minister Education Reforms Programme was launched to upgrade infrastructure of schools and colleges. “FDE has been led by 5 acting heads in 3 years but the ministry avoided searching a permanent solution to the problem to give the department a direction,” said the official.

After the retirement of Dr Shahnaz Riaz, the acting charge of DG FDE was given to then Joint Secretary at ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division Ayesha Farooq. Later, the charge was given to Hasnat Quershi, then director colleges Dr Tariq Masood, then a senior principal Dr Ali Ahmed Khan Kharal and finally the acting charge was given to Syed Umair Javed.

The official said that Syed Umair Javed, a Joint Secretary at ministry of FE&PT, were given temporary charge of acting DG FDE for 3 months, while after completion of his term, he was again given the charge till further orders. The official said that the largest department of education in the city did not have a head with education background. The official said not even senior directors were being promoted to the position of DG FDE, but the department was being run on ad-hoc basis. “The incumbent government is also following the same approach of keeping FDE deprived of permanent head,” said the official.

The official said that all appointments made by previous and sitting governments were political instead of following merit. He said that the education policies and implementation on the development projects were set on backburner due to non-availability of permanent head.

“Schools and colleges are facing financial and administrative problems, while the department regulating 423 institutions does not have its own head,” official added. Commenting on the issue, representative of Federal Government Teachers Association Malik Ameer Khan said that appointment of permanent head of DG would pave the way for resolutions of problems of the FDE. He said that the government must appoint permanent head of FDE for at least 3 years. A senior official of ministry of FE&PT said that so far no process for appointment of permanent DG FDE had been initiated.

Over 350 FDE teachers promoted

Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training promoted over 350 male and female senior elementary teachers to the next cadre of Secondary School Teachers, officials said on Saturday.

As per notification, 364 male and female SETs in BS-16 have been promoted to BS-17 to the post of SST. The promoted teachers include 197 female and 167 male teachers.

The notification said, “Consequent upon recommendation of Departmental Promotion Committee in its meeting held on July 11 and approved by the competent authority, the secretary ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Senior Elementary Teachers (SETs/Female) and SETs (Drawing) (female/BS-16) of IMSGs of the Federal Directorate of Education, Islamabad have been promoted to the post of Secondary School Teachers (SSTs) (Female/BS-17) subject to the condition that who fulfilled the requisite criteria/qualification as per rules, with immediate effect”. 167 male teachers have been also promoted to the SST under a separately-issued order. Representative of Federal Government Teachers Association Malik Ameer Khan welcomed the decision of promotion of 364 teachers by the ministry of FE&PT.

He said that promotion of teachers in the city’s public-sector schools would open new venues and opportunities for junior teachers. He said that federal schools were already facing shortage of teachers and government’s decision for promoting the teachers would address this issue also.

Malik stressed that the ministry should take more measures to facilitate federal government teachers.

The teachers promoted to the SST cadre include Samina Khatoon, Faqira Khanum, Rukhsana Karim, Zaib-un-Nisa, Naheed Akhtar, Rubina Siddique, Azra Parven, Nusrat Nazakat, Aziz-un-Nisa and Farzana Nasreen.

Male teachers include Abdul Jabbar Nasir, Manzoor Ahmed, Arshad Mehmood, Akhlaq Ahmed Abbasi, Abdul Jabbar Ghangroo, Ghulam Mustafa Bhatti, Hafiz Manzoor Ahmed, Irshad, Javed Iqbal and Zahoor Elahi.