Monday March 27, 2023

FCE employees plan to stage street protest

By Our Correspondent
March 19, 2023

Islamabad : Employees of the Federal College of Education have planned to take to the streets to protest the education ministry's recent move to place their teacher training institution under the administrative and financial control of the Federal Directorate of Education, the regulator for government schools and colleges in Islamabad.

They claim the "unwise" initiative won't last long and would have to be reversed by the ministry as a similar move of tasking the FCE with overseeing Islamabad's all government colleges in November 2021 bit the dust as parliament struck it down after being put to vote.

“It is ridiculous to see a college, which the Higher Education Commission considers fit to be a degree-awarding institution, being placed with schools under the FDE. This unwise move will destroy this institution," a professor told 'The News'.

Another senior faculty member said the FDE regulated schools and colleges and didn't have the capacity and experience to run institutions of higher education.

She also claimed that the FCE was an "office" of the ministry, so it couldn't be given in control of one of the ministry's attached departments. "The ministry has committed an illegal act, which can be challenged in a court of law," she said.

The teacher said the ministry gave the FCE's administrative and financial control to the FDE, which unceremoniously posted Dr. Samia out and that, too, to the Islamabad Model College for Girls (Postgraduate) G-10/4 on an “attachment basis” to work under a junior officer (BPS-19), the principal.

However, she has yet to report to the new place of work for being on leave until March 19 due to the death of her mother. The development came amid the HEC's nod to the ministry's proposal to grant the degree-awarding institution's status to the FCE and upgrade it to the National Institute of Excellence in Teacher Education.

A teacher insisted that Dr. Samia was "punished" after she, in response to the orders of additional secretary of the education ministry Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry for the provision of "teaching and technical facilities along with in-house accommodation" to 70 people from NGO Talee­mabad on the FCE premises, said the building didn't have space for so many people and that some portion of the building needed repairs. "There is no practice of giving away government buildings to NGOs and that, too, without adherence to the rules," the teacher said.

She said Dr. Samia even reported Chaudhry to the ministry and ombudsperson for workplace harassment.