Federal govt employees degree verification

Degree verification of federal govt employees may take years
Islamabad, Sep 15: In the absence of any clear vision and procedures the degree verification process, targeting some 350,000 federal government employees, has faltered following the initial enthusiasm thus bringing a sort of encouragement to the fake degree holders not to offer cooperation to the relevant authorities.

The sources said despite passage of two revised deadlines the process of verification of degrees of the federal government employees, initiated on the directives of the prime minister, failed to make any headway.

An official said since the verification of degrees of members of provincial and national assemblies and senators also remains inconclusive; the verification of educational certificates of hundreds of thousands of the federal government employees might take years for completion.

The sources said the government s strategy to keep Higher Education Commission (HEC), the sole competent authority to verify degrees, away from the verification process resulted in its failure and now no one exactly knows how many federal government employees have so far submitted their educational certificates to their relevant departments and whether or not submitted degrees have been sent to relevant educational institutions for verification.

It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani set two months deadline on February 5 this year to complete the verification process and it was also extended for another 20 days but the relevant departments failed to fully comply with the directives of the highest government official.

One of the sources claimed that the verification process was announced when some parliamentarians urged the prime minister to put pressure on bureaucracy because according to them pro-establishment bureaucrats had been trying to defame the elected representatives through verification of their degrees.

The sources said if the government was sincere in its effort then it should have given this task to HEC but contrary to this it entrusted the task to other departments that have apparently no time for this purpose.

According to official data a letter sent to the Cabinet Division by then Secretary Establishment Division Abdul Rauf Chaudhry on March 8, 2011 gave a message that the HEC would be kept away from degrees verification of the federal government employees because the respective division and heads of the government organisations would be responsible to get degrees verified directly from the universities.

The verification process may be initiated by the respective ministries/divisions and heads of autonomous/semi-autonomous organisations at their own, the letter stated, pushing the HEC away from the process.

The letter further stated: It will be the responsibility of the concerned secretary and head of the department/organization to have the degrees/certificates verified. They should satisfy themselves about the genuineness of degrees/other documents which are requirement of the post, as per rules.

The only reference of the HEC given in the letter was about verification of foreign degrees in these words: Any foreign degree/diploma should get verified from HEC.

The letter said: The prime minister has been pleased to direct that measures should be taken to authenticate degrees/certificates of all federal government employees of the respective ministries/divisions, their attached departments, subordinate offices and autonomous bodies under their administrative control. It said: The degrees/certificates of both the federal government as well as autonomous/semi-autonomous bodies/corporations working in BS-17 and BS-22 or equivalent may be got verified by making a reference to the universities/institutions concerned which issued the degrees/certificates.

A certificate along with list of officers whose degrees/certificates have been verified should be furnished to the Establishment Division within forty five (45) days of issue of these instructions, the letter said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the prime minister set the deadline of April 4 for verification of degrees of federal government employees; however, the letter gave the deadline of April 23. The Establishment Division was first directed to make arrangements for verification of degrees but later it was decided to assign the task to the Cabinet Division.

Despite repeated attempts on cellular phone, Press Secretary of the Prime Minister Akram Shaheedi could not be contacted. The news

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Federal schools: Teachers to go on strike
Islamabad: The Federal government and the model college's teachers associations on Wednesday joined hands to press the government for acceptance of their demands and decided to go on strike again. A meeting of the office-bearers of the two associations showed concern about 'indifferent' attitude of the administration concerned towards up-gradation of college teachers as promised by Prime Minister Yuosuf Raza Gilani in the recent past.

The members unanimously decided that the college teachers would hold demonstration besides boycotting the classes.

Federal Government Teachers Association (FGTA) has been fighting for up-gradation of over 1,400 teachers who had been serving in Grade 16 for the last 22 years and more. They were also struggling for up-gradation of nearly 850 teachers whose promotions were upheld after the government linked work experience and education qualification to progress.

The protests would start at small scale from September 19 till September 22 when faculty members would wear black armband.

Then from September 23 till the 27 they would boycott classes in the last two periods and from September 28 to October 1 they would skip first two periods.

On October 3 the protest would likely to take the shape of a demonstration in front of National Press Club and full day boycott of classes would follow. And from October 4 to 5 a full day they would boycott classes.

The teaching staff would take to the streets again on October 6 when they would gather in front of the parliament and boycott classes until their demands were met.

After framing the protest schedule, Professor Khalida Makhdoom said that teachers had been struggling and raising voice for up-gradation ever since former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz gave assurances to the teachers on October 5, 2006 (World Teachers Day).

The present Prime Minister Yuosuf Raza Gilani also assured to up-grade teachers on November 8, 2010 in a gathering specially called for this purpose in Islamabad.

Teachers of universities were instantly up-graded within few months, he said adding that they were also given assurance that they would also be up-graded.

Professor Abdur Raqeeb, a reperesentative of model colleges' wing, said that a directive of the prime minister was also issued in this regard. Since the authorities were ignoring all requests, teachers had decided to launch a protest against what he believed was discriminatory treatment.

Professor Zahid Ali Shah, President Joint Action Forum, had already informed the administration about the level of anxiety among the teaching community.

And Professor Tahir Mahmood said, "We sharpen the human and national destiny. We produce doctors, engineers, economic professional, hard working workforce of all kinds and even the generations of technocrats, statesmen and politicians. Doctors have struggled and ultimately got what they were asking for. We pledge to continue our struggle until our demands are met," he added urging all faculties to mobilize community. Dawn

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