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FDE daily-wage employees could lose three months of salaries

FDE daily-wage employees could lose three months of salaries

ISLAMABAD: A large number of teaching and non-teaching staff working in schools run by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) may lose three months’ pay as the financial year comes to a close in one week, causing the money allocated for employees’ salaries to lapse.

A daily-wage teacher who works at an FDE school told Dawn that staffers have been “panicked”.

“We have been requesting our seniors for the past 20 days, but our pay cheques have not been received to date. Since government cheques cannot be cashed after June 30, we fear that the money will lapse,” he said.

“Although schools closed in March, educational activities have not been suspended. Initially we were busy arranging new classes, and then we were directed by school principals to make student groups on WhatsApp and begin online classes. We have been teaching students for almost two months,” he added.

“Teaching online takes up more time as we receive a large number of queries from parents and students. Moreover, we give assignments and check them, so we remain busy from morning to late into the evening,” the teacher said.

With a week left in the current financial year, staffers fear funds for salaries will lapse if they are not paid before June 30

He added that with just a week left until the financial year ends, teachers are well aware that their cheques cannot be cashed after June 30 - it is stated clearly on government cheques that they are valid until June 30. And if the funds lapse, they will not receive their salaries for April, May and June.

Another teacher said that staffers have received their pay cheques in some schools, such as the Islamabad College for Boys G-6/3. He said that while the male teachers did manage to get paid, schools where women are employed have not received their cheques.

“According to our information, cheques were not delivered to a number of schools including the Islamabad College of Girls, Islamabad Model College of Girls (IMCG) I-8/4, IMCG F-7/4 and others,” he said.

An FDE official who was not authorised to speak on the record said that the delivery of staff pay cheques was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The cheques have been prepared by the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue, but the pace of work nowadays has been disturbed in almost every department as cases of Covid-19 are being reported,” he said.

“Cheques have been delivered in some schools and we have been trying our best to hand over cheques to teachers and other employees of the remaining schools, as otherwise the amount will lapse on June 30,” he said.

Minister for Federal Education Shafqat Mehmood told Dawn that he was unaware that a number of daily-wage teachers and staff have not been paid their salaries.

“It is our policy that the daily wagers should not be deprived of their salaries. I will look into it and will ensure that the cheques would be handed over to teaching and non-teaching staff of schools,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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