Islamabad, Dec 25: In order to bridge the gap between children of the haves and have-nots as far as education is concerned, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has decided in principle to launch O and A level classes in the schools and colleges of the federal capital in phases.
Initially, the FDE will launch a pilot project introducing O level education in two schools and A level classes in two colleges to be selected from among the 418 institutions being run under the directorate.
FDE Director-General Atif Mehmood Kayani on Friday said: "We have decided in principle to launch O and A level classes in two schools and colleges each for both boys and girls."
The capital city, he said, would now stand with distinction as Federal Directorate of Education would be the first education directorate across the country offering O and A level education to children of the poor in government-run institutions," claimed Mr Kayani.
According to details shared by the director-general, the FDE is currently managing 418 schools and colleges for girls and boys having around 8,600 teachers.
"Out of 418 institutions, 274 are located in rural areas while 144 in urban areas. In order to provide equal opportunities to the poor children living in rural areas, we will launch O and A level classes in institutions of the suburban area as well," added Mr Kayani.
He maintained that the current initiative was being taken with the full backing of his political leadership and this project would not be rolled back at any cost.
"I know there is a powerful lobby of private institutions which is running elite schools but PPP leadership is clear that the poor students would be given quality education at par with students coming from elite families and we are ready to face any pressure in this regard," Mr Kayani said.
It is pertinent to mention here that around 700 private educational institutions are registered with Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (Peira).
Regarding the faculty for O and A level classes in government schools, he said: "We have some very good teachers in different FDE institutions and will select the best ones from the current teaching lot. However, if hiring of faculty for few specialised subjects is required, FDE will definitely look for the best human resource for its pilot project."
Asked when the classes under the new education system would be launched, he said: "A complete planning is being done by officials of different wings of the FDE. We will have our first batch of O and A level students in the beginning of the next year."
According to an education expert, the syllabi of O and A levels have a broader spectrum with a large variety of subjects giving more exposure to the students who are better placed in career building.
"O and A level education system under Cambridge, Oxford and London universities is more creative since in its exams concepts of students and their approach towards a subject is analysed," the expert said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kayani explained: "We are introducing the system to bridge the gap among different education systems at federal level."
He said after the success of the pilot project, O and A level classes would be extended to all FDE institutions within a few years. Dawn.