Islamabad - The evening shift in Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) H-9 and Islamabad Model Postgraduate College (IMPC) H-8 will end tomorrow (Friday).

Barrister Usman Ibrahim, minister of state for capital administration & development division (CADD), chaired a meeting regarding the progress report of change of evening shift at capital administration & development division on Wednesday.

On the directives of the minister, director model colleges along with director admin & finance (FDE) visited the institutions to resolve the issue of evening shifts. Out of 19 institutions, 15 institutions have the space available for the construction of new rooms for evening shifts students. Moreover, five institutions namely ICG F-6/2, IMCG F-6/2, IMCG F-7/4, ICB G-6/3 and IMCB F-7/3 have also been physically verified to confirm the number of classes/rooms required in them.

The minister has given the directives to the officials of PWD to make a PC-I for new constructions. “It’s a very big project so we would send a summary to the prime minister soon to get the approval of funds required for it,” he stated. He added that new schools/colleges are needed in the capital due to increase in the students’ strength. For this purpose officials are directed to acquire the amenity plots in new sectors (G-13 & G-14), announced by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The minister has no doubt taken a momentous decision by declaring the abolishment of the evening classes in Islamabad model colleges and indeed this decision addresses the long-standing demand of the parents who view evening classes for kids and high school students as unnatural but clever and master-minded officers of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have very tactfully deflected the decision towards degree colleges which in actual have never been under consideration, believe the faculty of federal colleges.

The idea to abolish evening shift is not new. In November 2010, then Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali also announced to abolish the evening shift. Many decisions were made but could not be materialised. In 2013, Secretary CADD Shaigan Shareef Malik and Freedullah Khan also tried to abolish the evening shift and formed various committees to implement the decision but none of them succeeded.

There was no budget allocation by the government to run the evening shift so it was run on self-finance basis by collecting student-fund from the students. In November 2013, the CADD abolished all types of fee/charges of the students from Class I to X in all model colleges and schools under the article 25-A of the constitution of Pakistan.

Islamabad Model Colleges have been running evening classes (I to XII) for more than two decades, and evening classes have been considered a source of revenue generation which lavishly benefits the principals and their administrations, besides their regular perks that they receive from AGPR.

It has been often observed that they discouraged admissions in the morning classes and pushed parents towards the only option of putting their sons/daughters in evening classes which has never been a first choice of any parents, for it is unnatural for little kids to study in the evening and stay at home in the morning.

It is important to note that the previous government declared all the schools/colleges of Islamabad territory as model school/colleges for ensuring uniformity in the education but the cleavage between the former FG school and the Model school has not been bridged up. There are too many model schools, formerly known as FG schools, which can accommodate very easily the students studying in evening classes if the concerned segments of FDE sincerely pay their affection to the issue. But the minister for CADD has been duped by the officers of FDE and have very artfully deflected the issue towards the evening classes of former FG colleges.

When contacted, Professor Sagheer Ahmed Mirani, president Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), said, “Institutions of higher and under-graduate programmes like BCom, ICom, pre-medical, pre-engineering, general science do not have any problem in evening shift, as students enrolled in degree colleges are mature and feel very much comfortable by studying in evening classes, and particularly those who otherwise will be at the mercy of private colleges.” The real issue is for little children that should be addressed, he added.