FDE`s policy hinders opening of new schools
he Federal Directorate of Education (FDE)`s vague policy for getting land in the rural areas for establishing new schools is creating problems in the establishment of educational institutions.According to the policy, the public is to donate land for new schools and till the year 2000 people did donate land for schools in various areas. However, property prices have hiked in Islamabad and people are therefore reluctant to donate land for schools.[TOP]
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is supposed to provide land for primary schools in all the developed sectors for free and at nominal rates for secondary schools. However, there is no clear policy for rural areas.
`There is a policy under which people are supposed to donate land for schools in rural areas. But they are reluctant to donate land. Why will someone donate five kanals for a primary school when he can sell it for Rs2 million per kanal,` said an official in the FDE planning wing.
He said the unavailability of free land was one of the major reasons that new primary schools were not opening in the rural areas.
Housing societies in Islamabad are also required to donate land to the FDE for opening schools but most of them have utilised these plots.
`I have to check if donating land for schools in the rural areas is a policy or practice but we have to change it. The cost of land should be included in the PC-1,` said FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi.
According to an FDE survey, the capital is short of 60 schools. The survey says 20 schools are needed in Tarnol, 14 in Nilor, 12 in Sihala and nine in Bhara Kahu as well as three new schools in the urban areas.
`Currently, the federal government and FDE are focusing on the Prime Minister`s Education Reforms Programme for uplifting the 422 existing educational institutions and we will shift our focus to opening new schools at a later stage,` the DG FDE said.