Islamabad : The non-teaching and teaching staff of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) after a meeting held at the Ministry of Education on Wednesday, decided to continue protest but agreed on conditional re-opening of the classes at colleges and schools of Islamabad from Thursday (today).
“The Federal Government has sought time from us for addressing the issue and finding out a solution and classes will start from Thursday," the spokesman for the Federal Government Education Joint Action Committee on Wednesday said.
The Federal Government Education Joint Action Committee (FGEJAC) took the decision after the Government also withdrew a notification of November 22, 2021, which placed 33 Model Colleges under the Federal Government College for Education.
The FGEJAC headed by Fazal e Moula also decided that the Action Committee would continue the protest and would monitor the situation and outcome of talks for the next two to three weeks. The teaching and non-teaching staff of FDE have been protesting for the last over one week fearing political interference in educational institutions, the start of the collection of fees from children, and semi privatization of institutions as a result of section 166 of the ICT Local Government Ordinance.
The Ministry of Education has also issued a notification constituting a three-member committee headed by Additional Secretary Education and comprising Joint Secretary Ministry of Interior and Deputy Commissioner Islamabad regarding Local Government Ordinance.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Ministry of Education said the representatives of the joint teaching action committee federal government education department met with the minister and the senior officials of the ministry of federal education to discuss the potential implications of local government ordinance on the service matters of teaching and non-teaching cadres.
They shared their reservations with the ministry and submitted the demand to delete the relevant sections of the local government ordinance which place FDE and educational institutions under the administrative control of the Mayor. The joint action committee also demanded to halt any new effort to create a separate directorate for colleges outside FDE.
The ministry officials on behalf and direction of the minister assured the representatives of the association that the government is fully aware of their reservations and will ensure that all their service matters will be dealt with by the federal government through the ministry of education under the civil servants' act and no measure will be taken to alter their terms and conditions of service to their disadvantage.
The ministry agreed that the notification dated November 22 to separate 33 colleges will be immediately withdrawn.
According to the statement, the joint action committee assured that the time of students is of immense importance and they will open up the schools on December 9 without withdrawing their core demand to delete section 166 of the ordinance
The joint action committee will continue to raise this issue at every forum without hurting the education activity of the students of Islamabad. The ministry of federal education appreciated this gesture of the joint action committee.
Both the parties agreed to remain engaged in the interest of the students and teachers to ensure an improved education atmosphere.
The Ministry of Education has also issued a notification constituting a three-member committee headed by Additional Secretary Education and comprising Joint Secretary Ministry of Interior and Deputy Commissioner Islamabad regarding Local Government Ordinance. Meanwhile, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education which met here on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to re-open Federal Government educational institutions immediately.
The standing committee on education which met with Najibuddin Awaisi in the chair expressed concerns over the strike of teachers in the federal capital. “The committee directed while directing for the opening of schools and colleges decided that it is ready to sit with representatives of protesting employees of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE),” a statement issued by the National Assembly Secretariat said.
Meanwhile, Ali Nawaz Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CDA Affairs, also appealed to the employees of Federal Educational Institutions in Islamabad to immediately end the strike and reopen the schools so that the education of the children is not affected.
Addressing a press conference at the Press Information Department in Islamabad, he said that through the new Local Government Ordinance in Islamabad, only oversight powers have been transferred to the mayor of Islamabad but the employees of the institutions will continue to be employees of the Federal Ministry of Education. He said teachers will be entitled to the same perks and privileges which they were receiving before this ordinance. "Teachers are an honourable part of our society who build our future. What I am today is because of my parents and teachers," he said, adding that the points raised by the Teachers' Action Committee regarding the Local Government Ordinance have nothing to do with reality.
He said that some points roaming around about local government ordinance are baseless and have nothing to do with the ordinance itself. However, he did not tell as to why 390 colleges and schools along with FDE were placed under the Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI).
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