Appointments in FDE: Court asks for details of employees

Department is being asked to justify thousands of staffers appointed by former govt.


Our Correspondents July 16, 2013
The petitioners alleged a notification was issued informing employees that they could be fired at any time. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:


The Islamabad High Court on Monday asked the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to submit details of teachers inducted in the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in the past three years.    


Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was hearing three identical petitions filed by teachers who had petitioned the court for regularisation of their services. The court directed CADD Joint Secretary Rafique Tahir to submit complete details of teaching and non-teaching staff inducted and regularised during the former PPP-led government. Justice Siddiqui questioned whether these appointments were made on a political basis.

The petitioner, Abdur Rahim and two others had filed a petition in April for regularisation of their service. The petitioners informed the court that they had been working in government schools on contract for the past 12 years but the government had yet to regularise them.

They maintained that though their names were included in a list forwarded to the sub-committee on regularisation headed by Khurshid Shah, they were overlooked.

The petitioners alleged a notification was issued informing employees that they could be fired at any time. Later, they were told that they would be relieved of their duties if they demanded regularisation.

During the course of hearing, Deputy Attorney General Tariq Mahmood informed that court that the education department appoints teachers in grades 1 to15 by advertising in the press and from grade 16 onwards appointments are made through the Federal Public Service Commission. However Justice Siddiqui questioned whether these appointments were made through a competitive process. The court fixed the hearing for August 15.

During its five-year tenure, the former PPP government had inducted political appointees in every government department including 4,000 teaching and non-teaching staff in 424 schools and colleges under the FDE. Soon after the announcement was made, contractual employees started receiving letters from the FDE instructing them to have their medical examination conducted by the Central Medical Board, which is a prerequisite for joining government service. Later it turned out that the names of near and dear ones of FDE officials and school and college principals were included in the list who only had a few months’ experience. The finance ministry did not approve the en masse regularisation and told CADD that such a large number of employees could not be appointed.

Over 2,500 teaching and non-teaching staff are seeking regularisation, some of whom had moved the IHC. The court ruled in their favour. Former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani had constituted a committee to regularise contractual employee of government departments, but not all employees were able to get permanent status. Clerical Action Committee President Abdul Farooq asked why the government had issued the order when there were no vacant posts. “We’re still anxiously waiting for a FDE notification announcing the regularisation of all contractual employees.”

However, when contractual staffers visit the FDE for an update, they are told the ‘process is underway’.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013. 

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