ISLAMABAD: A Senate committee on Thursday directed the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to resolve salaries and regularisation issues of daily-wage teachers serving in colleges and schools in the capital.

The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education, which met with its acting chairperson Senator Dr Rukhsana Zuberi in the chair, discussed the issues of the daily-wage teachers besides other agenda items.

The chairperson of the committee said the issues of daily wage teachers had become chronic and these teachers observed strikes against delay in their salaries and demanding regularisation of their services. She said the issues should be resolved.

A representative of the daily-wage teachers told the committee that they were not being paid salaries regularly and neither their services were being regularised.

Officials of the ministry of education and FDE told the committee that a summary had been sent to a high-powered committee to look into the regularisation of 1,136 daily-wage teaching and non teaching staff. Moreover, 551 cases of grade 16 and above have been sent to the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC).

The committee directed the FDE to resolve the issue of salaries of teachers. The members recommended regularisation of daily-wage teachers.

Meanwhile, the committee approved Islamabad Compulsory Teaching of the Arabic Language Bill 2020, moved by Senator Javed Abbasi. The mover pleaded that school students in Islamabad should be taught Arabic as a compulsory subject so that they could get knowledge of Islamic teaching.

He said Arabic will not only help students better understand Islam but will also help them get better job opportunities in future as Arabic is world’s fifth largest language. FDE officials said for introducing Arabic in schools the directorate will have to hire Arabic teachers and develop new curriculum. The committee approved the bill and directed the education ministry and FDE to complete the task within six months.

Now approval of the bill is required by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education and then by both the Senate and National Assembly.

Earlier, the committee also discussed The Protection against Harassment of Students in Educational institutions Bill 2020, which was also moved by Senator Abbasi. But it was postponed till the next meeting.

The committee also took up two issues raised by Senator Mohammad Ali Khan Saif, regarding confusion among A-Level students after announcement of their results and grant of Ehsaas Programme scholarships without considering merit. The meeting disposed them of after concerns of the mover were removed.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020

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