Tuesday February 07, 2023

Students suffer as teachers transferred in midst of session

December 07, 2022

Islamabad: The regulator has transferred teachers of several government colleges in Islamabad in the middle of the academic year leaving students worried about their learning.

They insist that as teachers take time to adapt to a new environment, especially to adjust their instructions to cover the remaining course contents in the limited time while handling student behaviour issues, their pupils are bound to suffer. Experts also raise questions about such transfers insisting the Federal Directorate of Education’s move will cause more harm than good with the student learning targets unlikely to be achieved.

According to insiders, the FDE is transferring women teachers without obtaining the consent of their respective college principals. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Bhutta, general secretary of the Federal Government College Teachers Association, told ‘The News’ that Shamim Akhter, an assistant professor at the Federal Government Postgraduate College for Women, F-7/2, was recently transferred to the Islamabad Model College for Girls, I-8/4 on temporary duty. He insisted that the transfer went against the Supreme Court orders, which read, “No teacher can be placed on temporary duty or on loan-based duties.”

“The FG and model colleges in Islamabad are separate set-ups. Both have their own recruitment rules and seniority lists. The offer letter issued to Shamim Akhter at the time of her initial appointment declared that her services were meant for the FG colleges only, but she was later transferred to a model college. Her transfer can be challenged in the court,” he said. The FGCTA leader also complained that ad hocism was rampant at both FDE and educational institutions overseen by it. According to him, some directors at the FDE have been working on a temporary basis for years in violation of the Supreme Court orders.

A woman assistant professor (Urdu) served in four colleges during the last few months. She was initially transferred from the FGCW, F-7/4 to the FGCW, F-7/2 to the Bhara Kahu Girls College to the FGCW, G-10/4. Likewise, Shabana Hasan, an assistant professor, who taught the students of the associate degree program at the FG Fatima Jinnah College, Humak, was transferred to the Islamabad Model College for Boys Pakistan Town for temporary duty in July. Sources claimed that the transfer came after the teacher didn’t agree to hire an FDE director’s relative.

They also said Shabana’s transfer from a girls' college to a boys' college was illegal against the rules as no woman teacher of the FG college could be transferred to a model college for boys. She was transferred back two months later. Likewise, a woman lecturer at the FGCW, F-7/4, who was performing temporary duty at the FGCW, I-8/3, was transferred to the Bhara Kahu College. She lives in the far-away Dhamial area of Rawalpindi and uses public transport to reach the new duty after a 2-3 hours commute. Also, Dr. Rahima Rahman, an assistant professor at the FGCW, F-7/2 and president of the Federal Government College Teachers Association, was transferred to a Bhara Kahu college to teach intermediate students instead of the BS ones at the F-7/2 College.

A college principal, who spoke to ‘The News’ anonymously, said the frequent teacher transfers had a negative bearing on the efforts of colleges to improve student learning as such moves disturbed the “continuity of teaching.” She said the students took time to get used to the “teaching style and routine” of newcomers. A faculty member insisted that authorities had created 'terrible' working conditions for women teachers, who were made to work in hostile environments. “Irrational postings and transfers have created administrative conf­usion,” she insisted. Senior vice-president at the FGCTA Professor Farhan Azam said the minister of federal education and professional training should step in to ensure an immediate end to the unjustified transfer of the FDE teachers.