A teacher’s representative body has threaten that all government-run educational institutions will remain closed for an indefinite period starting from Tuesday in protest of the government’s move of giving the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) under the administrative control of the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (MCI).
The move followed the issuance of a new ordinance regarding the Amendment in Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act 2015.
Under the new ordinance, the FDE director-general will also be appointed in consultation with the Islamabad mayor.
The FDE, an attached department of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training, is looking after 424 educational institutions including schools and colleges in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). These institutions impart education from pre-school to masters level both in rural and urban areas of the ICT.
The Federal Government Joint Action Committee on Mondat announced that teachers and non-teaching staff will hold protests in their respective institutions against the government’s move.
Chairman of the committee Fazal Maula, while talking to the media, said that no academic activity will take place in any government educational institution from Tuesday and a complete boycott of classes will be observed.
He said that the government has put all educational institutions under the domain of the mayor through the ordinance, fearing the status of the employees would also be changed as the institutions might now be privatised.
Maula, while criticising the move, maintained that it would severely damage the education system of the capital, saying that it increases the risk of political interference in the affairs of educational institutions.
The committee also announced holding a rally from Islamabad Press Club to the Parliament House, vowing to stage a sit-in till the move is not reversed by the administration.
Meanwhile, teachers and non-teaching employees have expressed concerns over the new ordinance, saying that the placement of the education department under the local government will add to its problems.
Federal Government Teachers’ Association President Malik Amir Khan said that education was not an administrative but a national cause.
He called for reviewing the decision and gave the FDE back to the administrative control of the ministry of education.
Teachers’ representatives said that after the detachment of the FDE from the ministry of education, an administrative difficulty will be observed in meeting other objectives including completing projects funded by international donor agencies.
The teaching and non-teaching staff said that the move would not only bring down the standard of education but also increase political interference in the education sector.
Malik Amir further said the education sector should not be made an experimental laboratory. He said that the move will destroy the education sector.