ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE)’s plan to merge four federal government (FG) schools into model colleges has hit snags.

A source in the FDE told Dawn that teachers in the FG schools were opposing the plan.

In order to ease admission burden on the model colleges, which start from class I, the FDE on May 6 issued a notification to merge the four FG schools into the model institutions. However, so far, no practical step has been taken and the educational institutions would be on summer vacations from June 1 to August 7.

According to the notification, Junior Model FG School in G-6/4 was merged with Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) G-6, Junior Model School F-6/3 given under IMCG F-6, Junior Model I-9/1 was handed over to IMCB I-10 and Junior Model School I-10 was placed under the administrative control of IMCG I-10.

Decision was taken by FDE to ease burden on model colleges which grant admissions from class 1

The administrations of some of the model colleges, especially IMCG F-6, which has over 6,000 students and IMCB G-6 which caters to 8,000 students, were under pressure from admission seekers. To ease their burden, the FDE decided to merge the four institutions with them.

Under the plan, students would remain in their respective schools while teachers would have the choice of working in the FG or model colleges.

Director model colleges, Dr Tariq Masood, told Dawn that there was some issues in merging the Junior Model I-9 with IMCG I-10 that’s why the plan had faced a little delay. He, however, said except the Junior Model I-9 the three other schools would be merged with the model institutions during the summer vacations.

He said IMCB G-6 and IMCG F-6 had already granted admissions to a large number of students who were waiting for the start of classes in the newly-merged schools.

When asked about the wastage of time of the students who, according to the director, were waiting for the new classes, he said: “We will accommodate all these students soon after the summer vacations as during the break we will complete the merging process.”

Meanwhile, teachers in the FG set-up told Dawn that in case the FDE tried to merge their schools they would start a protest move.

“In the past, the model set-up on several occasions tried to grab our institutions but we foiled their attempts and this time we will also launch a movement,” said a schoolteacher who requested not be named. He said instead of merging a few FG schools the FDE should provide modern facilities to all the schools. “If both the FG and model colleges are treated equally, parents will opt for admission of their children to their nearest schools,” the teacher said.

It may be mentioned that about 20 educational institutions are working under the model college system and 382 schools are under the FG system in the capital.

Model institutions have remained the first choice for parents on account of better facilities, including transport, trained teachers and better budgets. However, according to the shortage of buildings and staff, model institutions could not accommodate all students.

On the other hand, FG schools have been the more neglected institutions compared to the model institutions and are facing many problems, including a shortage of trained, graduated teachers, furniture and transport facilities.

During the PPP government, the then prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, changed the nomenclature of all FG schools and gave the 422 FDE-run institutions one name: model institutions. But the government never took any step to provide the required facilities to the FG schools.

So, on paper, all institutions are model institutions but in reality they are part of either of the two systems and even two separate directors are running their affairs.

The incumbent government, however, has taken some steps to provide facilities to the schools. It has renovated 22 schools and is now planning to do the same for the remaining institutions under the prime minister’s education reforms programme.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2016