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Sturday Holiday may be Restored in Schools, Colleges

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The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) is considering restoring the two-day weekly holidays in the educational institutions working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).
In May 2010, the federal government employees were given two weekly holidays due to the power crisis in the country. But on November 28, 2013, CADD declared Saturday as a working day for the 423 educational institutions. The decision was taken to complete the courses in the schools and colleges on time and produce good results.
An officer of CADD requesting anonymity said in the first week of February, Professor Hamid Khan, the principal of the Islamabad Model College for Boys F-7/3, who also heads the principals’ forum, requested CADD to restore the Saturday holiday.

Mr Khan in his letter stated that the decision to abolish the Saturday holiday was taken due to non-completion of courses in schools on time. “But now the educational institutions have completed the courses, so the two-day weekly holiday should be restored,” he added.

Moreover, before May 2010 educational institutions used to remain closed on the first Saturday of every month. But after the abolition of the two-weekly holidays, the first Saturday has not yet been observed as a holiday.

“May be the first Saturday of March will not be declared a holiday but after the annual exams the two-day weekend will be restored,” the officer claimed.

Mehboob Ahmed, the vice-president of Model Colleges Teachers Association, told Dawn that after the completion of courses the principals had been informed about it and Prof Hamid Khan sent the request to CADD for the restoration of the weekly Saturday holiday.

An official of IMCG F-10/2 added that the management and faculty members were confused because of the abolition of the Saturday holiday.

“Educational institutions have been facing severe financial crunch. We could not pay the salary of January to the daily wage staff,” he said.

“The decision to declare Saturday as a working day has increased our expenses because buses of the colleges have to pick and drop students on Saturdays. The utility bills have also increased because now we have to open the institutions for at least four extra working days every month,” he said.

He said there were around 100 teachers, out of whom 70 were daily wagers. He said CADD should resolve the issue of the teachers rather than increasing the expenses of the institutions.

Maqbool Ahmed, the father of three children, said CADD should follow the policies of the federal government regarding holidays.

He said the decision to declare Saturday as a working day had also put extra financial burden on parents because their transportation cost had increased.

When contacted, Joint Secretary CADD said Saturday was declared a working day for educational schools because teachers had failed to complete the courses. However, now we have been informed that the courses have been completed, he said.

“We have also got a proposal that at least the first Saturday of every month should be declared a holiday. The secretary CADD will be briefed about it and hopefully a decision will be taken soon,” he said.
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