‘Govt withdraws transport charges from FDE students’

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi on Monday said the orders of imposing Bus Transportation Fee over the students of schools and colleges of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has been withdrawn.

The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) made this move on the directions of Federal Education Minister, he said while responding to a Calling Attention notice in the National Assembly session.

The notice was raised by MNAs Aliya Kamran, Muhmmad Jamal ud Din, Salahuddin Ayubi, and Qadir Khan Mandokhail regarding collection of transport charges from students of schools and colleges at high rate. “The decision had already been reverted,” Abbasi informed the NA. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), during its government in 2016-17, had given 200 buses to the 423 schools and colleges of the ICT, being controlled by the FDE.

The issue of school buses had been under consideration from 2021 due to shortage of transportation funds, he said, adding that to resolve the issue, the concerned government had formulated committees to discuss the relevant options, including public-private partnerships and establishment of parent-teacher committees.

He said the relevant committees, after having consultation, constituted parents-teachers committees, under which the rules were passed and implemented by FDE. However, he added, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain took strict notice of the matter and directed the authorities’ concerned to withdraw the decision urgently.

Rana Tanveer also directed the FDE not to pass such orders without permission of the Education Ministry. Meanwhile, Education Minister has also given directions to arrange the funds of 100 million rupees for the cause.

“Instead of imposing new charges on students, the Ministry of Education has decided to pay Rs 100 million to the FDE for smooth operation of the bus service of government schools and colleges in the capital” Abbasi informed the Lower House.

Qadir Khan Mondokhail demanded of the government to take strict action against the involved in passing out such orders, which are against the basic rights of education. It is worth to mention here that the FDE-run educational institutions in Islamabad had imposed up to Rs 2,500 on poor students using buses to and from schools and colleges. School and college management committees had handed over transport fee slips to the students, asking them to pay a minimum of Rs 1,500 and a maximum of Rs 2,500 from 1st November or stop using buses forthwith.

However, after hue and cry of parents and students, Federal Education Minister Rana Tanveer directed the FDE to withdraw the notification regarding charging of transport fee. (APP)