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ISLAMABAD: If all goes as planned, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) will provide free lunches to students in 20 public schools.

“Our talks with WFP are in the final stages and hopefully, both the organisations will sign an agreement,” said Joint Education Advisor at the Ministry of Education, Rafiq Tahir.

Mr Tahir said that initially, the ministry was planning to provide free lunches to students enrolled under the Out-of-School Children Campaign.

“But that would have been discrimination against other students,” he said, adding that the menu is also yet to be finalised.

FDE had identified 11,000 out of school children in the capital city and is planning to offer them admissions this academic session.

“On Monday, I will hold a meeting with school heads. We have already decided to setup special counters at schools to welcome out of school children,” said Mr Tahir, who is supervising the campaign to bring out of school children into schools.

He claimed that from next week to the end of April, almost 10,000 out-of-school children will be enrolled in schools.

FDE has 423 schools and colleges under its administrative control, but for the last one month or so, there is no director general to supervise the affairs of schools. The last temporary director general, Dr Ali Ahmed Kharal’s three-month tenure ended last month, but so far, neither has his contract been extended nor was anyone else appointed DG.

“As far as the campaign of out-of-school children is concerned, we are directly monitoring it. But, yes, I do agree that the post of DG should be filled and we are making efforts for this,” Mr Tahir said. He said that soon the matter of the DGs posting would be resolved.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019