Education Watch

April 10, 2015

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Union president’s wife and relatives working as FG teachers

As in other sectors, politically motivated appointments are also being made in the education sector. The Federal Government Teachers Association has over 7000 teachers as members and the president of this association holds clout within education circles.

The association president’s own wife and two close relatives are working as daily wage teachers at a Federal Government run school and their cases are being put forward for regularisation.

The three women, one of the whom is President Federal Government Teachers Association Azhar Awan’s wife while the other two are said to be his sisters-in-law (names withheld), were appointed as teachers at Islamabad Model School for Girls F-11/1.

Two years ago, these teachers were appointed as daily wage employees and now according to a document available with Dawn, their cases are being put forward for release of salaries and regularisation.

A senior FDE official told Dawn that anyone with political clout can have their relatives appointed at FDE run schools while other talented and qualified people with no political connections are unable to get appointed. The officer said that union leaders in many government departments hold clout and misuse their power.

“The union leaders initially greet their bosses with bouquets and later they use the threat of protests to get what they want,” the officer said.

A recently published report titled Islamabad Capital Territory Education Sector Plan by Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division highlighted political interference and non-transparent appointment of teachers as the reason for poor quality of education in public schools and the mushroom growth of business-oriented private schools.

When contacted, the President FGTA Azhar Awan said that all three teachers in questions fulfilled the criteria for the positions and posses the required qualifications.

He confirmed that one of them is his wife and said the other two are close relatives but not his sisters-in-laws. “The two teachers have been teaching at the school for the last two years as daily wage workers. They fulfill the criteria and are dedicated teachers so they deserve to be appointed as regular teachers,” he said.

“They may be my relatives but they were appointed on merit. They were hired at the same school because there was a shortage of teachers there,” he said.

56 AIOU students receive laptops

Students receive laptops from the education minister.
Students receive laptops from the education minister.

The students of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) were also included in the prime minister’s laptop scheme as 56 students received the computers on Tuesday.

State minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Engineer Baligur Rehman distributed the laptops among the students of Masters, M.Phil and PhD programs on their best academic ranking at a ceremony held at the University’s main campus.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister appreciated the AIOU for making distance learning system successful, catering to millions of students every year.

The educational rating of the university, he noted, had improved over the years.

He noted since his appointment as VC Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui had brought qualitative improvement in the university’s overall working.

VC AIOU Dr Shahid Siddiqui also spoke on the occasion.

“AIOU has been producing skilled manpower and professionals of high standard in various disciplines,” he said and expressed the hope that the laptops would help the youth to carry on their applied research work, meeting the socio-economic needs of the country.

The HEC chairman also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2015

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