The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training on Tuesday urged protesting teachers of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to call off their strike and come to the negotiation table, Aaj News reported.
Chairman Committee Senator Irfan Siddiqui, urged the representatives of the Federal Government Education Joint Action Committee (FGEJAC) to take into consideration the future of students affected by the strike and asked them to resume duties.
The chairman also constituted a sub-committee headed by Wajiha Akram, MNA Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Education, to review the matter and submit a report within 15 days.
Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Falak Naz, Senator Fawzia Arshad, Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhary, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, and Senior officers of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture including Federal Secretary Education, ED Higher Education Commission and Parliamentary Secretary on Education Ms. Wajiha Akram, also attended the meeting.
Representatives of FGEJAC informed the committee that the conflict started with the promulgation of the controversial Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Ordinance-2021 which placed FDE institutions under the Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI).
The teachers’ body showed concerns regarding ambiguity in pay and promotion structures as well as revocation of their status of being Federal Government employees. They asserted that better policies are needed to promote education in the country, which they said was not possible under an Administrative Unit.
The FGEJAC members also expressed concerns regarding funding, which according to them, had always been an issue at the MCI.
The delegation termed the government’s measures as a gross violation of the Civil Services Act, and asserted that “MCI was a dying cadre and being part of this, would kill all future prospects.”
Chairman Committee, Senator Irfan Siddiqui, remarked that apparently there was absolutely no urgency or emergency to promulgate an ordinance and create chaos.
Members of the committee agreed that a sub-committee must be formulated to review the matter in detail and address the issues of the stakeholders.
The newly constituted committee would include representatives from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture; the Senate of Pakistan, and the FGEJAC.