ISLAMABAD: In a bid to appease protesting teachers and introduce a uniform education system in the Islamabad Capital Territory institutions, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday announced a package fulfulling some of the longstanding demands of the educators.
The prime minister announced upgradation of teachers and transformation of all federal government schools and colleges into Islamabad Model institutes “to end disparity and provide equal opportunities” to all students of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Gilani was speaking at the launching ceremony of a programme titled “Uniformity of Education Systems” for the teachers of schools and colleges of ICT.
Some of the key demands of the teachers which had been forwarded to the federal ministry included uniformity in “syllabus and distribution of financial resources, faculty designation, recruitment and promotion, administrative and academic structure of all public sector institutions and formation of a committee with representation of Federal Government, Model and Garrison schools and colleges.”
Federal Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, Education Secretary Muhammad Athar Tahir, DG Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Shaheen Khan, teachers and other officials of the ministry were also present on the occasion.
The prime minister said all educational institutions of ICT would be named and administered as Islamabad Model Schools/ Colleges. He directed the Ministry of Education to consider the establishment of a Federation Public School in Islamabad as well as a Model University to cater to the affiliation needs of ICT Graduate and Postgraduate Colleges, which are presently affiliated with the University of Punjab.
Fulfilling the demands of the teachers, the prime minister announced the upgradation of posts of teachers working under FDE and the introduction of Time-Scale Promotion Formula which would replace the previously Four-Tier Promotion Formula.
According to the new formula, teachers of BPS-9 would be promoted to BPS-14, BPS-14 to BPS-16, BPS-16 to BPS-17, BPS-17 to BPS-20 and BPS-21.
Under the new upgradation formula, Matric-trained teachers would be given 14 scale instead of the existing 9 scale, and undergraduate teachers would be awarded 16 scale in place of the current 14 scale. Under the new scales, all the teachers and principals of the schools would be given opportunity for promotion up to BPS-21.
The prime minister also agreed to fulfil the demand of enhancing the charge allowance to the heads/principals of institutions of ICT. The details in this context would be finalised with the Ministry of Finance.
Gilani directed the education ministry to arrange transport facilities for students and teachers especially in the rural areas in collaboration with CDA and ICT. President Federal Government Schools Teachers Association Azher Mehmood welcomed the prime minister’s announcement. He urged that notification of the announcement be issued shortly. “The dreams of teachers would be fulfilled if the notification is issued and implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.
Another member of teachers association, M A Shahid, said that the prime minister took a pro-poor approach by announcing a uniform educational system in the federal capital. He said that this system would provide a level-playing field for all students. He also urged the early implementation of the package.
The prime minister said under the 18th Amendment, the curriculum system has been transferred to the provinces and the decision would not be taken back. He said if there is any controversy between provinces and the federation, it would be resolved in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and in the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee.
The PM said religious seminaries that are imparting education to 2.5 million children would also be brought into the mainstream while introducing new subjects. Negotiations in this regard are going on with Interior Ministry and Wafaq-ul-Madaris, which would be presented to the cabinet within a month.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2010.
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