Tuesday May 21, 2024

Employees to move court against handing over 21 kanals of FDE land to private party

By Muhammad Anis
September 14, 2023

Islamabad:As signing of an agreement which would envisage handing over 21 kanals of land in Sector F-11, meant for federal government educational institution, by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to a private party, attracted strong criticism from cross section of civil society, the associations of teaching and non-teaching staff, have announced to move the court against the highly controversial decision.

The FDE amid strong protest by the FDE employees and citizens, signed an agreement with a private party to hand over 21 kanals of land worth billions of rupees in the posh sector to set up a private school there. The signing of this agreement is also being termed as violation of Article 25-A of the Constitution which makes it mandatory on the government to ensure provision of free education upto the secondary level (grade 10).

A senior leader of FDE's teaching staff and spokesman of teachers' association, Zia Khan Yousafzai while talking to 'The News' said that they would move the court against the agreement which is also violation of the Constitution. He also claimed that the FDE previously had signed two similar agreements. The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of FDE employees headed by school principal Fazal-e-Mola and School Teachers Association President Malik Ameer and the teaching community also feels that the move would deprive hundreds of students of their constitutional right to free education and books.

According to the MoU signed on Friday last, the private school to be set up on 21 kanals of land would charge commercial fees from 80 per cent students and provide free education to 20 per cent students and 22 years, the building constructed by the said private firm would be handed back to the FDE.

Not only that the agreement is breach of Constitution, it also violates land use formula as set by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The CDA bye-laws do not allow use of land meant for a federal government institution for commercial purposes.

A senior official of the Ministry of Education, however, defended the agreement saying that it was signed as the government did not have funds for construction of the school building. The office-bearers of JAC of FDE employees feel that if the agreement is not done away with, the same would lead to signing more such MoUs in future.