ISLAMABAD: The jurisdiction of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) is going to be expanded in the whole country as the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training gave a go ahead to the FBISE (Amendment) Act, 2016.
The meeting was presided over by its Chairperson, Senator Ms. Rahila Magsi, which was held on Tuesday at the old PIPS hall in the Parliament Lodges.
The committee considered "FBISE (Amendment) Bill, 2016 introduced by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq in the upper house of the parliament in November 2016.
The 'Federal Board' is an autonomous body working under the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, which is mandated to organise, regulate, develop and control the intermediate and secondary level education while it also conduct examinations in the its affiliated institutions.
Currently, 1350 educational institutions are affiliated with the said board in Islamabad Capital Territory, Cantonments and Garrisons, Federally Administered Northern Areas and Pakistani institutes working abroad, but it is not allowed to affiliate with educational institutions situated in the domain of four provinces; Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan.
Senator Nuzhat Sadiq in her statement said that the scope of the Federal Board, in terms of number of affiliated institutions and candidates appearing in the examinations was very limited at the time of its inception which by now has expanded manifold.
Currently, many educational institutions in the public and private sectors have the option to become affiliated with foreign boards (for instance for 'O' and 'A'levels) or with any local private or semi government or government for secondary and higher secondary certificates.
She said that ironically those institutions which wish to be affiliated with the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education cannot do so as the Act prohibits going beyond cantonments, garrisons and federal areas.
Under the existing provisions of the FBISE Act, 1975, the Federal Board cannot allow such affiliation without extending its jurisdiction through amendment in its Act. She said that the Bill seeks to amend the FBISE Act, 1975 to achieve the aforesaid objectives.
The Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Engineer Balighur-Rehman while briefing the committee on the proposed amendment has marked it a constructive step and said; "the amendment will create a positive competition among boards by providing choice to the students."
He also explained that around 25000 students could appear in examinations through the federal board from around fourteen countries, but they cannot continue their studies in case of their arrival back in the country during their academic sessions."
He informed further; "the children of government employees also face similar issues when the services of their parents are transferred in provinces from the capital."
Giving his view on the proposed bill, Senator Noman Wazir Khattak said; "the bill seems sound."
After detailed deliberations, the committee members gave a go ahead to the said Amendment Bill unanimously and sent it to the senate for further proceedings.
While talking to Daily Times, Chairman FBISE Dr. Ikram Ali Malik said, "We are fully prepared to expand our operations across the country as we have already converted our data on the automated system."
He said: "It is quite embarrassing that the private and international boards like Cambridge and Agha Khan Board are allowed to affiliate institutes across the country whereas the law bars our own federal board to give affiliation in provinces."