Islamabad:The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has shifted its focus from crucial educational matters to an unusual emphasis on toilet cleanliness. The principals of various educational institutions received urgent directives from the FDE to prioritise the sanitation of students’ toilets and commodes, citing a suspected visit by the education minister.
The FDE authority instructed the principals to engage in a rapid cleanup effort and capture photographic evidence of the spotless facilities. The images of various commodes and toilets were then shared promptly within a dedicated WhatsApp group created by the FDE, creating a comical yet competitive marathon race among the Principals.
Some educators expressed their frustration, arguing that the administration should prioritise providing quality education, addressing the shortage of subject teachers, and equipping school labs with modern equipment. Many educational institutions reportedly have "out of field teachers," inexperienced teachers, or daily wage teachers leading classrooms.
The lack of focus on resolving critical issues such as the shortage of subject teachers, inadequate lab facilities, and the absence of clean drinking water and proper transport facilities has left the education system in disarray.
A Principal on the condition of anonymity said, “Despite the immediate need for enhanced educational quality, improved facilities, and a more qualified teaching staff, the administration's skewed priorities have taken center stage. The lack of a coherent vision within the education department becomes evident as the urgent focus on toilet cleaning overshadows the fundamental challenges faced by both students and teachers.”
A teacher pointed out, ‘Education has never been a priority of the authorities.’ While maintaining cleanliness in schools is important, the educational institutions are doing well with their limited resources. He argued that the administration's energies should be directed toward addressing the longstanding issues within the education department. Critical issues persist, including a shortage of subject teachers, classrooms being helmed by inexperienced or daily wage educators, inadequately equipped school laboratories, and poor essential facilities such as clean drinking water and reliable transportation. The administration's seemingly arbitrary decision to divert attention to toilet cleanliness, while neglecting these pressing concerns, raises questions about their understanding of educational priorities.