Devolution conundrum: Body to re-allocate deptts to education ministry

Published: December 27, 2014
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Form another body to decide hand-over of education-related programmes. STOCK IMAGE

Form another body to decide hand-over of education-related programmes. STOCK IMAGE

Form another body to decide hand-over of education-related programmes. STOCK IMAGE Form another body to decide hand-over of education-related programmes. STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: The secretaries committee has formed a four-member body to examine the hand-over of 22 subjects, which are currently with other ministries, back to the federal education ministry. 

These subjects were handed over to different ministries when the education subject was devolved to provinces after the 18th Amendment.

A federal education ministry was re-established in November 2011 after
the Supreme Court maintained that the government could not absolve itself of the responsibility of providing education under Article 25-A.

Issues arising from the devolution of education remain unresolved, with the ministry itself having been renamed four times in four years.

According to the minutes of the secretaries meeting, Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Division Secretary Ejaz Chaudhry told the meeting that subjects of education attaches offices in Pakistan missions abroad, international exchange of students and teachers, foreign studies, Federal Colleges of Arts and Design presently with IPC could be transferred to the education ministry.

He said that subjects that are spread in provinces like the Inter Board Chairmen Committee should stay with the provinces.

The secretaries agreed to form a body to work out the issue. The four-member body will comprise secretaries of IPC, Capital Administration and Development Division, education ministry, and planning division.

Last year, some secretaries had argued against switching control of the bodies, while others had favoured handing them over to education ministry after taking the provinces on board.

The list of 22 bodies includes the Federal College of Education, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), Department of Libraries, National Language Authority, Urdu Dictionary Board, and functions such as international exchange of students and teachers. At present, the Cabinet Division, IPC Division, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in charge of these subjects.

IPC secretary Ejaz Chaudhry is the convener of the committee.

The committee will also consider handing over the health-related programmes to the Ministry of National Health Services.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2014.

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