ISLAMABAD - Teachers and non-teaching staff of the Federal Government Colleges are faced with an acute shortage of funds to pay for their term rent for housing.

According to an official source, the budget allocation to disburse every year to the landlords whose houses are on public pool for government employees is set annually. The F.G Colleges, which were already running in deficit, received a reduced amount this year as compared to the previous fiscal year to pay the rental ceiling. The allocated funds were consumed in just six months which put the teachers of these colleges in a very difficult situation.

Funds allocated to meet the rental ceiling of all the 10 Federal Government colleges for the fiscal year 2018-19 was Rs 96765000, whereas it was drastically reduced to Rs 81920000 for the year 2019-20.

Islamabad Model Postgraduate College H-8 faced 37.3% reduction in allocation of rental ceiling which is the highest among all the FG Colleges (The College got Rs 13237000 during 2019-20 while it received Rs 18177000 during 2018-19).

Islamabad Model College for Boys F-10/4 faced 27.1% reduction and Islamabad Model College for Boys H-9 faced 25.6% reduction in allocated budget of rental ceiling. This huge reduction in the allocation of funds resulted in a chaos as the funds got exhausted in just six months and no funds were available for many teachers beyond December 2019.

However, Islamabad Model colleges did not face any reduction. All the 20 Model Colleges got a little more than previous year. They received Rs 184453000 in 2019-20 while during the year 2018-19, they got Rs 178784000.

“The recent COVID-19 situation has brought this issue to all time worst; landlords are now pushing the tenants to either vacate the houses or pay them from their (teachers’) personal resources. There is nobody to listen to our miserable plight,”complained Professor AmjadAwan.

Although the COVID-19 outbreak at the dawn of the new year left everyone in a state of inertia but food and shelter can hardly be compromised.

A female teacher on the condition of anonymity shed her frustration by saying that the first thing a civilized state must think of is to make sure people have food and shelter over their heads.

“We read in the media that all welfare states have rescued people amid COVID-19 crisis for food and shelter. Our unscientific system has brought us at war with our landlords,” she said.

“We don’t know how to handle this situation; nobody is allowed to move, no offices are functional; after all who will address this issue, I am speechless,” she lamented.

Arshad Ali, a lecturer whose house owner is pressing hard for the rent said his rent was not paid by the concerned authorities since December 2019 and he is not able to pay the rent from his personal pocket.

He urged the authorities to pay concern to the miseries of the teachers community who are custodians of the future of generations.

Prof TahirMahmood, a representative of Federal Government College Teachers Association urged the authorities to immediately release more funds in the head of rental ceiling to resolve this situation.

Of course, the Finance Division can help right away from the emergency relief funds without any unnecessary formalities and red tape procedures, and enough funds be allocated to the FG Colleges ahead of time in the coming budget to make up the shortage of funds for year 2020-21.

When contacted, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Syed UmairJaved admitted the fact that the payment of the hiring amount to the teaching and non-teaching staff was being delayed due to the funds shortage.

The Finance Division had allocated less budget for the year 2019-20 and we are facing the shortfall of Rs 1 billion. Supplementary grant was also not given, he said.

However, we will make efforts to have sufficient budgetary allocations for the coming year so that the staff are paid their due allowances, he assured.