Islamabad sees a slight decline in cases of coronavirus

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Covid-positive teachers on deputation summoned by FDE for interview today


Zubair Qureshi

Federal Capital witnessed a slight decline in the number of Covid-19 cases on Sunday with 714 reported in the last twenty-four hours and five deaths in the meanwhile.

The figure is less than the previous three consecutive days’ tally, 724, 844 and 796 respectively.

With the latest additions in cases and casualties, Islamabad’s total number of infections stood at 60,911 and death toll 579.

While, the District Administration and the district health authorities in view of rising number of cases in the federal are prohibiting the public to avoid unnecessary going out or visiting offices or banks except there is an urgency, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has called teachers working on deputation under wedlock policy for interview.

Unfortunately, of those who have been called for personal hearing before a committee of the FDE, more than 12 have tested positive for Covid-19.

When approached for comment on this unusual step made by the FDE, a senior official of the directorate requesting anonymity said the FDE previously had made up its mind to repatriate these deputationists to their parent departments come what may.

When his attention was drawn to the fact some teachers were Covid-19 positive he said the directorate was ordered by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to conclude the hearing/interview within a period of one month.

However, teachers who are appearing before the committee constituted by the FDE said there was no truth in that.

Again, the FDE is taking shelter behind the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judgment in order to conceal its own revengeful policies towards its teachers, said one of the teachers who is appearing before the FDE committee today (Monday).

The IHC had asked the FDE to conclude the process but at the same time in its judgment, Chief Justice Athar Minallah had forbade the Director General of the FDE not to put the teachers to unnecessary hardships, she reminded.

Secretary Ministry of Education & professional training, has approved constitution of a four-member committee comprising Saqib Shahab (Chairman), Abdul Wahab (Member), Muhammad Azam Gakhar (Member) and Musawir Sifat (Member) to decide the cases of the teachers on deputation under wedlock policy individually.

A teacher from Islamabad Model School Shahpur while sharing her ordeal said she along with family was tested positive but despite that the FDE has refused to postpone her interview.

“I am directed to appear before the high-level committee along with all my papers and testimonials to explain how I could overstay in the FDE school despite passage of a 5-year deputation period.

This is not the story of one teacher, more than 150 teachers have been asked to appear before the FDE body, on the orders of the IHC and justify their stay in the FDE schools.

“We are award-winning teachers and our principals and even the directorate is happy with our performance yet their treatment towards us is as if we belonged to some other world or were inferior to the Islamabad-based teachers, said one of the teachers.

They appealed to Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to intervene and turn down the FDE’s plans to send them to their parent departments.

Some of these lady teachers are widows, some are divorced and have no one back at home to take care of them yet the FDE insists it is acting upon the Chief Justice of the IHC’s orders.

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