Reforms initiative introduced to improve quality of education in schools, colleges

Updated 13 Aug 2020

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Under these new reforms, school and college heads are supposed to take measures for students’ personality development by reviving the house system. — Dawn/File
Under these new reforms, school and college heads are supposed to take measures for students’ personality development by reviving the house system. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Federal Education has introduced a reforms initiative to improve the quality of education in Islamabad’s public sector schools and colleges.

There are currently 423 schools and colleges in Islamabad that are under the control of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE). Sources said that the quality of education at these schools has declined significantly in the last 20 or so years.

Sources said that Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mehmood and his team have introduced a reforms initiative for FDE schools and colleges that they will be bound to implement.

Annual reports of the heads of these institutions will also evaluate their performance in implementing the policy.

Annual reports of the heads of FDE institutions will also evaluate their performance in implementing the policy

Under these new reforms, school and college heads are supposed to take measures for students’ personality development by reviving the house system, with an annual calendar of intra-house and inter-house competitions, student councils, and literary and culture evenings.

Special attention will be given to communication skills, and institutions have been directed to set up Urdu and English clubs, design and introduce language games for all grades on a weekly basis and design and publish annual magazines with an active student editorial board supervised by teaching staff. College heads have been told to also set up debating clubs.

According to the documents, college principals must arrange special coaching classes for passing out students of the Higher Secondary School Certificate II for medicine and dentistry colleges, aptitude tests, engineering colleges, law admissions tests, scholastic aptitude tests and so on.

Heads of institutions have also been told to carry out eco-friendly activities, and ensure that institutions organise tree plantations by the top three position holders on annual results declaration days.

Every student in an outgoing class will be bound to plant a tree on the institutional premises and a certificate will be earned for this, which will be mandatory in order to obtain a character or school leaving certificate.

Heads of colleges must also arrange summer classes for HSSC II and BS programme schools to train them in coding and foreign languages. Postgraduate college heads have been directed to arrange coaching sessions to prepare upcoming graduates on writing a curriculum vitae or resumé, finding jobs, interview skills and entrepreneurship.

The new reforms also focus on courtesy rules for all institution staff upon and after retirement, including farewell ceremonies, quick resolution of pension and ancillary issues, and in the case of the death of retired or serving staff members, the head of the institution and the courtesy committee will be responsible for ensuring a significant number of staff members attend funeral prayers.

The courtesy committee will also check on and, if necessary, provide the needs of the staffer’s surviving family and coordinate to clear the financial matters of the deceased.

A separate section will also be set up to facilitate teachers in resolving issues such as medical bills, Government Provident funds, leave and hiring cases and so on.

The policy also urges capacity building for teachers by setting up an Academic Advisory Council and organising seminars.

Sources in the FDE said that the FDE director general notified the reforms policy on Aug 7.

The notification stated: “For all policy initiatives relating with head of institutions, a compliance report within one month of issuance of this letter and later a periodic report on quarterly basis should be reach to the office of director academics through their respective area education offices.”

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020