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November 8, 2018
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Next FDE chief likely from college principals

Islamabad

November 8, 2018

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Islamabad: With the process to fill the vacancy of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE)’s director general under way, rumours are rife that the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training will prefer college principals to the directorate’s own officials for the imminent BPS-20 appointment.

The reasons as cited by the people in the know are first only the principals holds BPS-20 grade and second the FDE directors eyeing the coveted administrative position either have a seniority dispute or face the National Accountability Bureau probe into the alleged misuse of power or corruption.

The FDE, the regulator for Islamabad’s over 420 public sector schools and colleges, has been functioning without a head since the temporary DG, Hasnat Qureshi, relinquished the charge around a month ago.

Qureshi, a BPS-20 bureaucrat of the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service group, had acted as a stand-in for the permanent FDE DG for more than a year due to the erstwhile Capital Administration and Development Division’s policy of ad-hocism towards public sector education in Islamabad. Instead of filling the top vacancy on a permanent basis, the division kept posting its one officer after another or outsiders as the interim FDE chief causing unrest among the directorate’s own staff members.

Dr Shahnaz A Riaz was the last permanent FDE director general, who had retired in December 2016 on attaining the age of superannuation.

Now, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, which took the administrative control of the FDE post the CADD’s abolition lately, has begun the process to fill the BPS-20 post on a permanent basis. Under the existing recruitment rules, either the senior most FDE director (BPS-19) or the principal of a degree college can be promoted to become the directorate’s top boss. The FDE recently proposed an amendment to the recruitment rules to do the principals out of the right to its top positions, including DG’s, but the ministry shot down the proposal. Now, the ministry is in the process of appointing a permanent DG to the directorate.

Though both senior FDE directors and college principals are in the running, the ministry is understood to be going for the latter for two reasons, first no FDE director holds BPS-20 and around 22 principals work in the grade, and second the candidates from among directors are either fighting over seniority or are under investigation for the alleged misuse of power or financial corruption or. The relevant officials told ‘The News’ that the ministry would soon call the shortlisted candidates, both directors, and principals, for the interview before recommending names to the prime minister’s office for choosing one for notification as the permanent chief of the directorate.

Though there’s no official word, there are also reports that the ministry is changing rules to appoint the future FDE director generals from among both directors and principals purely on a seniority basis.

The Federal Government College Teachers Association proposed that the new FDE DG be from within the system preferably a college principal as only he or she being in the field knew the real issues and challenges of the education system and could formulate pragmatic corrective measures to further the cause of education.

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