ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has recommended to the education ministry, to repatriate teachers without valid no-objection certificates (NOCs) to their parent departments.
Sources said that FDE had moved a summary in this regard to the ministry a couple of weeks ago.
The ministry has yet to take a decision on the matter. Around 300 teachers, mainly female, have been serving in FDE-run schools and colleges under deputation or wedlock policy.
Last year, FDE decided to send the teachers back to their parent departments as the period of deputation could not go beyond five years.
However, teachers protested against the FDE’s decision and moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) too, and the court directed the FDE to give a hearing to teacher; following this, the directorate decided to repatriate all teachers who do not have valid NOCs.
Summary moved to education ministry
“Yes, we have received the summary and soon we will decide what to do,” said a senior officer of the ministry, adding the summary has been referred to a committee set up by the ministry.
A source said a few days ago, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had also directed the ministry to decide this case in accordance with rules and regulations.
Last year, when the FDE started issuing repatriation letters, scores of female teachers held a protest against the FDE and said they had been serving in Islamabad under the wedlock policy for years and the repatriation orders were in violation of the policy.
The protesting teachers said they had been serving in FDE-run schools and colleges under the wedlock policy and in 2013 the then prime minister had approved a summary directing the FDE to absorb teachers who had worked in the capital for more than five years.
There were over 200 teachers, mainly women, working under the wedlock policy for over five to 20 years. Among them there are also teachers who had submitted permanent no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued by their parent departments on the direction of FDE in 2013.
On the other hand, FDE and ministry officials said under deputation rules, no teachers could serve in other departments for more than five years.
“The cases of those who had submitted permanent NOC on the request of FDE should be dealt with differently than those who do not have NOCs,” said an officer of FDE.
According to rules, any government official could join another government department of the country on deputation for three years, extendable for further two years.
Under the wedlock policy, wife and husband are supposed to work in the same city.
However, in FDE schools and colleges, both policies have been violated as many teachers without NOCs have been serving in Islamabad beyond the five-year limit, depriving other deserving people of their right to join FDE schools on deputation.
FDE is also blamed for mishandling this entire case as many years ago, it had asked the teachers to submit permanent NOCs from their parent departments and the teachers did. But last year, the directorate decided to repatriate them.
“We do agree the issue of deputation and wedlock is a chronic one as in the past, neither FDE nor the education ministry decided this matter. But, now we are going to resolve this issue for good,” said an officer of the ministry. He said that a committee of the ministry will decide the fate of FDE teachers.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021