Sunday January 29, 2023

Teachers litigating against FDE over their issues

January 26, 2023

Islamabad : Complaining about the misuse of power, incompetence, and red tape at the Federal Directorate of Education, more and more government teachers in Islamabad are taking the regulator for their colleges to the federal ombudsman over the issues of appointment, promotion, leaves, and house rent.

They insist that most of such complaints can be avoided if their cases are handled by the FDE officials in line with the procedures laid down for them. According to them, Imran Shehzad, a Pakistan Studies lecturer at the Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8, recently got his 21 days ex-Pakistan leave regularised by the FDE only after the intervention of the Wafaqi Mohtasib and the education ministry, and that, too, after being driven from pillar to post for 18 months.

As a government employee, Mr Shehzad needed six months of study leave for a PhD course in Canada. He got that leave as well as mandatory NOC for the foreign trip from the FDE in January 2021 and flew out of the country. After completing the course, he booked a flight back home but the pandemic-induced curbs delayed it, like others, for 21 days. He returned on the next available international flight but to his utter shock and frustration, the FDE, instead of extending his study leave, converted that 21 days of unintended absence from work into “leave without pay” though he had a sufficient balance of earned leaves.

The lecturer filed an appeal with the FDE against the “sheer violation of rules” seeking conversion of that “payless” period into study leave. He attached photocopies of his air tickets and other documentary proof of his late arrival, but his plea fell on deaf ears prompting him to approach the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib for justice.