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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Seniority principle under scrutiny as junior professor assumes top roles

By Jamila Achakzai
September 21, 2023

Islamabad:In a controversial move that has stirred unrest within the academic community, Mr. Najeebullah, a relatively junior Associate Professor, has been appointed as the Principal of Islamabad Model College for Boys G-11/1, bypassing 65 senior colleagues. The decision has ignited strong resentment among senior Associate Professors who argue that it contravenes the established seniority principle, eroding their confidence in the fairness of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) appointments.

Furthermore, Mr. Najeebullah has been assigned additional duties as the Director (Monitoring) at the FDE, prompting concerns about his ability to effectively balance his new role with the responsibilities of being a college principal. With his current commitments consuming his time from 8 AM to 6 PM at the college, questions have arisen regarding his capacity to fulfil his new responsibilities adequately. Over 15 Associate Professors, all with more seniority than Mr. Najeebullah, have already lodged formal complaints against his appointment as Principal, emphasizing their concerns about his junior status. They advocate for his removal from these positions and the appointment of a senior Associate Professor in accordance with the long-standing seniority principle.

Speaking on the matter, an Associate Professor from Islamabad College for Boys G-6/3, on the condition of anonymity, expressed deep concern, stating, "The current situation is deeply unsettling. Seniority has always been a guiding principle for career advancement, and it's disheartening to see it violated. Our dedicated senior professors deserve a fair chance at these important positions within the FDE, but they are being overlooked." Senior Associate Professors from Islamabad Model Colleges have urged the Education Minister to conduct an investigation into the situation and consider appointing a senior Associate Professor to the vacant positions, in alignment with the seniority principle. In a related issue, resentment and anxiety have been brewing among teachers from Federal Government Colleges who claim to have been marginalized and disregarded in terms of representation within the FDE since 2013. An Associate Professor from Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 highlighted this concern, stating, "The lack of representation from Federal Government Colleges at FDE is a pressing concern. We deserve equal representation at FDE, but we've been overlooked for far too long. It's time for a more equitable approach in the FDE's appointments."

Senior Associate Professors from Federal Government Colleges have called upon FDE authorities to provide equal opportunities and recognition to Federal Government College teachers on par with their counterparts from model colleges. This dual challenge to the seniority principle and equitable representation has thrust the FDE's appointment policies into the spotlight, sparking a fervent debate within the education sector.