FDE abolishes transport department to curb corruption

Tribune

ISLAMABAD: Days after it emerged that the bus funds were being misused by government-run schools and colleges in the federal capital, the Federal Directorate of Education has abolished the department of technical and transport.
The deputy director of the department has been charged with collecting all the fuel cards issued, keys to official vehicles and relevant records and submitting it to the FDE administration.
According to an official order issued by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) Technical and Assistant Administration Director, the Technical and Transport Directorate has been abolished. The additional charge of deputy director of the directorate has been withdrawn from Saleem Awan.
Awan, however, will remain as the deputy director of the FDE Planning and Development Directorate.
He has been directed to collect the fleet cards issued to FDE officials along with keys of vehicles provided to these officials. Awan has been directed to submit these cards and keys, along with all relevant records, to the administration director immediately.
The order further stated that now all procuring will be done after issuing tenders.
It further devolved powers of effecting repairs on vehicles and to bear expenses up to Rs25,000 for official vehicles to the respective directors, subject to final approval from the director-general.
While the order was silent on the reason for shutting down the directorate, sources disclosed that the department had been shut owing to reports of alleged corruption and misuse of funds allocated for the fuel and repair of government vehicles.
Earlier, three FDE vehicles had been seized by a mechanic after his alleged bogus bills were not cleared by the directorate.
FDE Director-General Dr Ali Ahmad Kharal said that they have abolished the cash section while all directors have been empowered for minor purchasing up to Rs25,000.
He added that a purchase committee has been formed comprising of well-reputed and honest officers to review the purchases made by the departments.
Kharal added that the closure of the technical and transport department would help curtail alleged corruption in the department.
No exam fees in Punjab
The Punjab Education Ministry has imposed a ban on charging any sort of fees for exams from students of government-run schools.
Instead, the education ministry has directed that the cost of making copies of question papers should be filled from the Promotion of Education Fund. The ministry has warned heads of educational institutions of action against charging fees from students.
In a circular issued by the education ministry on Wednesday, students in the 53,000 government-run schools will not have to pay any fees for exams.
Moreover, the ministry has announced ‘good news’ for students of primary and middle schools (up to grade seven) wherein no student will be declared as fail and teachers have been barred from writing ‘failed’ next to a student’s name.
The circular explains that some students leave school if they do not make the passing grade.
In order to retain them, the government has decided to abolish the concept of ‘failing a grade’, instead, such students will get a star next to their name and promoted to the next class at the end of the academic year.
Moreover, heads of schools have been directed to complete indoor exams, which begin today, by February 20 under any circumstance.
Further, the schools will be bound to submit the results to their respective assistant education officer by February 26 so that the results can be announced by February 28.
The school heads have been bound to award students who stood first, second and third.
The new academic year will begin on March 1. For this purpose, the timetables should be finalised and must include a period for sports at least once a week along with a period for book reading in the library.
If the school heads fail to ensure this, they will be prosecuted under the PEDA act.

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