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Islamabad’s education system: Senate body seeks details

September 28, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: The subcommittee of Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat and the Capital Administration and Development (CAD) has shown concern about the education system and has demanded details of the facilities available in model schools.

The meeting, held at the Parliament House, was presided over by Senator Saeeda Iqbal on Friday.

The chairperson was annoyed on hearing that all federal government schools (FGs) had been converted into model schools.

She asked for a detailed presentation about the schools and the facilities available in the next meeting.

Talking to Dawn, Senator Saeeda Iqbal said the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) had changed the status of the schools to ‘Model Schools’ but had failed to provide any facility to the teachers and students.

“My primary concern is the teacher-student ratio in these schools. I have worked my entire life in the education sector, and I can comprehend the difficulty in teaching primary students. Therefore a maximum of 30 students should be present in each class, although 50 students are being taught at present,” she said.

“Teachers cannot give adequate time to the students, compelling parents to either teach their children themselves or send them to tuition centres. Due to lack of time, even teachers emphasise on students to memorise the topics instead of understanding them,” she said.

The chairperson said most model schools did not have decent facilities like libraries and toilets.

“By changing the status of the schools from FG to model, the income of the Federal Directorate of Education has increased because the fee charged by model schools is much higher than that of FG Schools,” she added.

“In rural areas, the situation is worse because teachers prefer working in urban areas. This problem is because of the appointment policy in Islamabad Capital Territory. Whenever vacancies for teachers are announced, quotas are given to each province. Teachers from other provinces refuse to teach in the rural areas,” she said.

“I will take the parliamentarians elected from Islamabad into confidence and will suggest that hiring for basic payscales 1 to 16 should be made from the federal capital. Only then would the employees show willingness to work in rural areas,” she said.

Ms Iqbal further added that if remedial steps in the education sector were not taken, Islamabad would become another Karachi, where people would only admit their children to private schools.