It took two years of petitioning and court cases, but Dr Shahnaz A Riaz seems to be finally where she believes she rightfully belongs.
The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) issued a notification on Thursday appointing Dr Riaz as the director general (DG) of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), “until further orders”.
Her appointment was approved by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf two weeks back. She was selected from among three candidates.
The post was lying vacant for the past two and a half months after the removal of former DG Atif Mehmood Kayani, after he was proven ineligible for the post in the Supreme Court.
Dr Riaz has been petitioning the courts for the last two years for the appointment on seniority basis and her qualification. She holds a PhD in education management from Columbia University. She previously served as DG for a brief period two years back, but was removed due to internal power wrangling with a strong lobby, which had created the impression that her performance was unsatisfactory due to weak administration.
Her removal heralded a number of temporary DGs, lasting no more than a few months each. Kayani, the last DG, a political appointee of sacked prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, was recently appointed as co-ordinator to the minister at the CADD for the capital’s education and health departments.
Despite being partisan and unqualified, teachers’ associations were happy with him as he resolved their longstanding demand of implementation of the time scale formula, under which thousands of teachers were promoted to the next grade.
Dr Riaz told The Express Tribune said she had received the notification from the ministry and had taken charge as DG. She was however, not satisfied with the text of the notification, because of the insertion “till further orders”, which makes the order sound temporary. “I’ll take up the issue with the concerned authorities and get it revised,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.