Islamabad:The Ministry of Education is all set to put forward a legal stance that the Implementation Commission can take decisions only on those clauses falling in the concurrent list and there is no question of abolition of the ministry as a whole under the 18th Amendment, sources said here on Wednesday.
Sources said the high-ups of the ministry have now held the view that there is no mention of abolition of the Ministry of Education in the 18th Amendment and the prime minister, who enjoys executive powers, can decide whether to keep it intact or abolish it entirely through executive orders.
Though it is not clear whether the Implementation Commission would again invite representatives of the Ministry of Education to discuss the devolution plan yet its officials were quite confident that there is no chance of abolishment of the ministry under the 18th Amendment.
One of the senior officials of the ministry told this correspondent that they hoped that the Implementation Commission would hold another meeting with representatives of the ministry and if it happens they would put forward their arguments in line with the existing laws.
He referred to the viewpoint of the members of the NA Standing Committee on Education and said except one all other members belonging to different political parties including Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) and Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) strongly recommended the government that the federal Ministry of Education must not be abolished and curriculum and syllabus should not be shifted to the provinces.
The recommendations forwarded by the NA Standing Committee on Education to the Implementation Commission stated that the education ministry must be kept intact, as per functions under Part I and Part II of Federal Legislative List (FLL); Core Curriculum up to Higher Secondary Level must be within federal jurisdiction; Islamic Education needs to be with the federal level; Centres of Excellence (12), although included in Entry 38 of abolished Concurrent List are research entities and covered under Entry 16 of Part I of FLL, need to be retained at the federal level.
The official said Islamic education requires to be relocated in Part II of FLL, as the representatives of all the five boards of Ittehad-e-Tanzeemate-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) have agreed to accept Madrassah Education Authority, if linked with the federal Ministry of Education.
In an interaction with this scribe former Minister for Education Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali said Chairman of the Implementation Commission Mian Raza Rabbani remarked during a meeting that powers falling in the concurrent list would be shifted to the provinces but some segments of the media started propagating that decision was taken to abolish the Ministry of Education at the federal level.
To a question about mandate of the Implementation Commission he said many legal advisers had told him personally that it enjoys the mandate to transfer powers to the provinces given in the concurrent list but it cannot advise the federal government to abolish any ministry.The news