The post of principals in educational institutions run under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) was once considered an attractive post and professional dream of senior associate professors. This is not so anymore due to the attitude of the concerned authorities, excessive workload and lack of financial benefits.
Achieving excellence in one's career is every professional's dream but a real educator prefers not to indulge in purely management and bureaucratic issues. This is apparent from the hesitation of teachers under the FDE to become principals at various schools.
According to an official, the FDE is to conduct interviews for the appointment of the principal of FG College of Commerce, H-8/4 from Monday onward. Fifteen associate professors have been asked to furnish their biodata for the selection process.
However, a majority of them are not interested in becoming principal, thus were reluctant to fulfil the FDE directive. They have given a number of reasons for not doing so such as arrogant behaviour by the concerned authorities, ridiculous tasks and irrational expectations, immense workload and shortage of staff in some colleges are the main demotivating factors.
An associate professor on the condition of anonymity said the behaviour of the authorities is always impolite. "There is no change in my grade if I am appointed principal. There is no financial benefit so why should I invite trouble by accepting this post?
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Becoming principal will mean an increase in administrative responsibilities and pull me away from teaching, which I am passionate about. The FDE authorities give foolish orders like shifting the library from one room to another or abolishing the examination cell of students," they added.
Another associate professor said that there is no professional courtesy. "There are multiple bosses at FDE to whom a principal has to answer at the same time. Who is the immediate boss/director or an area education officer? No principal has an understanding of the FDE administrative hierarchy," he lamented.
He added that a female principal sought voluntary early retirement before attaining the age of superannuation due to a lack of respect from FDE.
Another associate professor maintained that after the retirement of the commerce college principal, for one post of principal, it is insulting that 15 associate professors have been called for interviews and often juniors are appointed superseding senior educators.
"There are no such interviews in any other department. No secretary, additional secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary are interviewed while assigning them duties," they highlighted.
A representative of the Federal Government College Teachers Association has demanded that this illogical policy and arbitrary style of management be rationalised.