Islamabad’s under-staffed schools face crisis as 52 teachers receive relieving orders

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Zubair Qureshi

The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in complete disregard of the services of more than 50 teachers on deputation who have been serving in Islamabad’s schools for decades, has issued them repatriation letters directing their principals and the area education officers to relieve them with immediate effect. This unceremonious exit order has created panic among the teachers who have given their best to the schools they have been serving.
Besides, the impulsive order is given by the FDE at a time when the country is in the grip of second wave of coronavirus that is considered more potential taking lives of thousands of people across the people.
While talking to Pakistan Observer on Monday, a senior official of the FDE on condition of anonymity said the orders have been issued on the desire of some ministers who want to bring their own men and women to Islamabad on deputation.
“This is being done despite the fact these teachers had come under wedlock policy and according to the rules, there is 10 percent quota for absorption of these deputationists in the capital’s schools and colleges,” he further said.
A number of principals and AEOs when contacted confirmed they had received the orders to relieve these teachers immediately and report the FDE about it.
We are to follow the orders, said a principal of an Islamabad Model School requesting not to mention her name and added that mass exodus of these teachers would put the schools and colleges into a crisis-like situation as already they are understaffed.
Interestingly among these 52 teachers, mostly female there is a majority of those who have been given permanent No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from their parent departments of Sindh, KP, Balochistan AJK and the Punjab and in case they are repatriated they would not be accepted by their parent department.
“We were first asked to appear before a committee of the FDE on the orders of the Islamabad High Court and there we presented our case and all the relevant papers but despite the fact we showed them our NOCs and the excellent service certificates by our heads, they relieved us without showing any clemency,” said a senior teacher of the FDE whose retirement is due next year.
With our kids studying in Islamabad schools, husbands working here and families comfortably settled, how can we return to our previous departments that too in these days when Covid-19 has spread across the country, said another tea-
cher.
They appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of this arbitrary order by the FDE as they were seeking their legal right to be considered for absorption in accordance with the federal government’s rules and policy. In case we face forced eviction, we would be left with no option to but demonstrate outside the PM Office and at the D-Chowk said one of them.