ISLAMABAD: The failure of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to pay daily-wage employees their salaries has forced Tahir Rahimdad to take up a part-time job to support his family.

The 25-year-old is among 800 members of teaching and non-teaching staff at the FDE institutions who have not been paid their salaries for the last seven months.

Mr Rahimdad said he was the sole breadwinner for his family and the FDE’s apathetic attitude has made life difficult for him. He works as a clerk at Islamabad Model Girls School, Shahdara.

“After finishing work at the school, I go to a private school and work there. But the salary paid to me by the private school is insufficient to meet my family’s needs,” he said.

Sources at the FDE said that the financial wing at the FDE has the necessary funds to pay daily-wage employees but has been purposely delaying payment.

An official at the finance wing refuted this claim and said that the FDE is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance and Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to release the salaries.

FDE Director General Aamir Ashraf Khawaja told Dawn the FDE has been pursuing the case and requesting the finance ministry and CADD to release funds for the salaries as soon as possible.

“In the first phase, we paid the college section and in the next few days we will pay school employees,” he said.

Two months back, daily-wage employees had staged a number of protests outside the FDE building for the release of their salaries and for regularisation of services.

“As far as regularisation of services is concerned, it is impossible to say whether this will happen. There were reports of fraud in the appointment of daily-wage employees,” said a senior official at CADD, requesting anonymity.

However, he said, salaries would be paid without delay.

“They have a right to their salaries,” he added. A school teacher, Malik Ameer, demanded immediate payment of salaries to all daily-wage employees.

“I have been teaching with devotion for the last two years, however, I have neither been paid for the last seven months, nor have I been regularised,” he said.

Mr Ameer said daily-wage employees have been running from pillar to post for their salaries but neither CADD nor the FDE has paid heed to their problems.

Meanwhile, Azhar Awan, president of Federal Government School Teachers’ Association, demanded the FDE and CADD to immediately pay the daily-wage employees their salaries.

“These teachers should be given their due salaries and their services should also be regularised,” he said.

Published in Dawn February 16th , 2015

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