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Event Title: Senator Irfan-Ul-Haque Siddiqui, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education & Professional Training Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-07-06

The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training convened today at the Parliament House, under the chairmanship of Senator Irfan Siddiqui.

The session commenced with a discussion on the compliance report submitted by the Vice-Chancellor regarding the decisions and recommendations made during the previous meeting on June 8, 2023, concerning the "examination issue faced by Law students at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan." The Vice-Chancellor of BZU Multan informed the committee that an internal committee had been established to address the longstanding problem encountered by these students. The Vice-Chancellor pledged to present the findings of the internal committee within 15 days. However, Senator Irfan Siddiqui, the Chairman of the Standing Committee, expressed grave concern over the delay in resolving the matter and decided to form a sub-committee led by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed to expedite the resolution process.

Furthermore, the committee discussed the compliance report submitted by the Ministry regarding the state of Chairs abroad, providing comprehensive details such as the number of chairs, vacant positions, duration of vacancies, and the reasons behind them. Ministry officials informed the committee that the process of filling the vacant Chair in Uzbekistan was nearing completion. However, no candidate met the requirements for appointment as the Chair in Iran. Discussions were underway with Columbia University to overcome the challenges hindering the appointment of a Chair there. The Chairman directed the ministry to provide a university-wise breakdown of the vacant chairs abroad, along with reasons for the prolonged vacancies. This matter was deferred for further discussion in the next committee meeting.

Another topic addressed by the committee was a public petition regarding the submission of a comprehensive report in line with the recommendations made during the June 8, 2023 meeting concerning the non-compliance with the reinstatement of terminated employees. Ministry officials reported that a committee had been established to investigate this matter, and it had concluded its deliberations. Out of a total of 33 dismissed employees from the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), three withdrew their cases. Verification of the degrees of 30 employees was requested from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), and it was discovered that 27 employees possessed fraudulent master's degrees. The degrees of the remaining three terminated employees were obtained from unrecognized institutions. After thorough discussions, the committee agreed to consider the cases of the three employees on humanitarian grounds.

The committee also conducted extensive discussions regarding the termination of Contractual Montessori Teachers (BPS-17) working in institutions under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in Islamabad. The Director-General of FDE expressed the opinion that the issue of employees in BPS-16 and 17 fell within the purview of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), which had advertised the positions and already recommended qualified candidates for permanent appointments. The DG further stated that the contractual staff had the opportunity to apply and compete through the FPSC, which they did not avail themselves of. As there were no vacant posts available in the department, the services of these contractual staff members could not be continued. The terminated teachers argued that the department should have forwarded the cases of these employees to the FPSC for the regularization of their services on a one-post, one-candidate basis, rather than advertising them for open competition. The Chair opined that this action by the department constituted a case of criminal negligence and that terminating the services of these dedicated individuals would have negative consequences on their livelihoods. Following detailed deliberations, the Chair decided to defer the consideration of the matter until the next committee meeting and directed the Secretary of the Federal Education Department to ensure his presence at the next meeting to facilitate an amicable resolution.

The committee meeting was attended by Senators Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Fawzia Arshad, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, and senior officials from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training.