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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: 2023-12-22

Today, the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training convened at the Parliament House, chaired by Senator Irfan Siddiqui.

The committee initiated discussions on the point of public importance raised by Senator Sadia Abbasi in the Senate session regarding the absence of a service structure and promotion policy for university teachers in BPS Grades. The committee learned that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) is actively addressing this issue, and Senator Irfan Siddiqui, the committee's chairman, directed HEC officials to finalize their work by January 15, 2024, and submit a comprehensive report on the proposed "Uniform Service Structure."

Regarding the regularization of daily wage teachers in Islamabad, the committee received information that 137 teachers have received regularization notifications, while recommendations for 223 teachers who passed the FPSC examination are pending cabinet approval. The Secretary Education assured that the summary would be approved at the next cabinet meeting, ensuring the prompt regularization of these teachers. Other daily wage employees approved for regularization will be notified subsequently.

Concerning the payment to daily wage teachers in Islamabad, the committee was informed that a payment of Rs 32,000 per month is being ensured.

During the meeting, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Urdu University briefed the committee on salary disbursements and the proposed relocation of the university's principal seat to Islamabad. The acting VC highlighted challenges in salary payments, with only 40% being fulfilled due to financial constraints. Expressing concern, Chairman Committee Senator Irfan Siddiqui directed the HEC Chairman to scrutinize legal aspects in collaboration with the Ministry. While expressing the committee's opposition to relocating the principal seat to Islamabad, Senator Siddiqui emphasized the need to address legal intricacies. The HEC Chairman attributed the financial challenges to malpractices in university administration's recruitment and promotion, also highlighting the government's inadequate grant to the HEC.

The Chairperson of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority briefed the committee on the organization's operations, staff, and financial status. Committee members voiced concerns about the shortage of qualified teachers in private educational institutions, unwarranted increases in school fees, and inadequate salaries for private employees. Referring to a High Court decision, the Chairperson clarified that private institutions are permitted to raise fees by a maximum of five percent annually.

Chairman Committee Senator Irfan Siddiqui directed that the authority present a comprehensive report in the next meeting detailing actions taken to address teacher training and the regulation of private educational institutions.

Regarding the public petition filed by the President PTA concerning facilities for physically handicapped children in educational institutions, the Chairman of HEC informed the committee that special ramps have been installed in the country's universities. He assured that steps have been taken to provide all necessary facilities during exams and classes. Senator Irfan Siddiqui emphasized the need for enhanced facilities in schools for such children. Accordingly, he directed the Chairman of HEC and the Secretary of the Federal Ministry to take further actions after listening to the recommendations of the President of PTA.

Senators Fawzia Arshad, Falak naz, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Saadia Abbasi, Mushtaq Ahmed, along with the Chairman HEC and the Special Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, and other senior officials, participated in the committee meeting.