December 13, 2013
“The International News”
After issuance of a notification by the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD), all extra-curricular activities, maintenance of school buildings and transport facility would come to a stop.
With issuance of the notification after approval given by a top official of the Ministry of CAD, the model schools & colleges would not be able to meet their day-to-day expenses and holding of sport events and arrange fuel of school buses from their own resources.
According to the notification (F.1-256/2013-DEA (Edu), all types of payments in the form of fee, charges, expenses etc. from students of class 1 to 10 (from age 5 to 16 years) in all government educational institutions (model schools and colleges) under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) stand abolished with immediate effect.
The model schools had already stopped receiving tuition fee from students of up to class 10.
After receiving the new notification, the model schools and colleges have stopped receiving student fund of Rs50 per month and maximum bus charges of Rs500 per month.
It may be pointed out here that the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) had not received money under the head of maintenance of school buildings for the last 10 years and the administration of these academic institutions have been carrying out minor maintenance and repair of buildings from student fund. Most of school administrations would have to relieve hundreds of teachers of their duties whose services were hired on token payment, which was arranged from the student fund.
The student fund was also a source to meet expenses on organisation of extra-curricular activities like speech contests and sports. “Now we will not be able to organise these events,” the principal of a school said. At the same time, the academic institutions also used to meet fuel expenses of buses from Rs500 per month charged from students availing the facility.
On receiving the notification from the CAD ministry, the school and college administrations, which were providing transport facility to students, are now planning to stop the facility of picking and dropping students. “Now I will have to pay Rs2,000 for private pick and drop service for my child instead of Rs500 which I used to pay to the school as transport fee,” the father of a student studying in a model school of Sector G-10 said.
The CAD ministry spokesman was not available for comments but another official said that the notification has been issued in pursuance to the Article 25-A of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 and in terms of Section 3(2) of Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2012.
The Section 3(2) of the Act says that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee, charges, expenses etc which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing education.
The principal of a school said that how a meagre student fund of Rs50 could prevent a child from pursuing and completing education.
There is also Section 3(3) of the Act which, having several clauses, says the government is responsible to ensure safety of travel of the child and the teacher to and from school, ensure timely prescribing of curriculum and courses of study for education, provide infrastructure including school buildings, playgrounds, laboratories and teaching material.
All these clauses are unattended in the notification issued by the Ministry of CAD and how the government would ensure safety of the child and teacher when buses would not be operated and how the infrastructure would be maintained when there is no income source like student fund. Moreover at present most of the educational institutions are without transport facility and students have to reach schools on foot or by public transport.
The notification also did not spell out alternative income sources to students fund and transport fee.
An official of the FDE, when contacted, said that the directorate would not be able to allocate funds for fuel of school transport and maintenance of school buildings and for organisation of extra-curricular activities.