ISLAMABAD -  Like previously thin attendance was observed in almost all educational institutes on this Saturday too.
Islamabad Model College for Boys G-10/4 on Saturday observed holiday announced by the principal on the pretext of preparatory leaves for examination but there are no exams in the coming days.
Confusion prevailed regarding Saturday as working day. Keeping Saturday-on in Islamabad Capital Territory schools and colleges has not proved to be a successful and good decision .
The non-teaching staff like sweepers, clerks, lab attendants, lab assistants, library staff usually come to school/colleges by public transport which is not available early in the morning. A very few vans are seen on the roads even at 9:00am. They are compelled to attend their respective institutions after 10:00am because of non-availability of vans. As a result rooms remains dirty and other offices in college are closed up to 10:00am.
A very few students and teachers too turn up on that day due to transportation issue. The poor parents who hardly manage transport for their children find it almost impossible to manage transport on Saturday because the vans hired for this purpose do not carry children on Saturday as all the private sector educational institutions are closed on that day.
"They have increased the charges which is an additional burden on the parents and for the teachers too. The children of the rich are enjoying holiday while the children of the poor segment of the society are compelled to attend public schools and colleges by managing expensive transport because they do not have their own vehicles," complained one of the parents of the students.
Parents who have their own vehicle drop their children in schools and colleges on their way to offices on working day. But on Saturday , to get up early exclusively to give pick-and-drop to the children is not only an extra burden on them but also make their relaxing holiday completely busy and exhausting. In this situation, the parents are unable to understand what made the decision makers to notify this illogical and unwise decision .
A teacher of a model college, on condition of anonymity, said that courses according to syllabus are going well and it will be completed on time so it is wrong to say that courses are not covered in the colleges. The decision of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to keep Saturday working is nothing to do with the coverage of courses because keeping in view the previous academic routine with Saturday off, the duration of periods had already been enhanced and the teachers on their part were following the routine to complete their courses well in time.
An officer at FDE, on condition of anonymity, said that the decision of CADD to keep Saturday working was without any prior planning and consultation with the parents of the students, principals and teachers who were directly concerned and affected by the decision . To make Saturday working does not make any difference for elite class because their children go to high ranking private institutions but it does matter for the poor parents of the students in ICT schools and colleges under FDE.
It was decided by the federal government two years back to close the offices, departments, corporations, autonomous bodies and educational institutions on Saturday , observing two days off.
All the departments managed their working routine keeping in view the working hours available. The educational institutions, on their own part, also made course outlines and syllabus break-up to meet the needs . But the educational institutions have been opened again on Saturdays by CADD at the time when the country is still facing severe shortage of energy, besides the decision has been causing problems for the teachers, especially female, students and their parents.