RAWALPINDI - The Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, on Tuesday suspended provincial education department’s re-allocation policy over a petition of 20 teachers who have challenged the policy in the court.
Justice Sohaib Saeed suspended the policy and sought reply from Secretary School Education Department (SED) Punjab Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, Executive District Officer (EDO), Education Qazi Zahoorul Haq, Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed and District Coordinator Officer (DCO) Rawalpidi Sajid Zafar Dal.
The court directed the officials to formulate a new policy and submit a detailed report within two weeks.
The petition was filed by 20 teachers of Rawalpindi district through President Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) Raja Shahid Mubarik. The petitioners’ counsel Noor Khan maintained that in March this year the provincial government had transferred almost 500 teachers under the reallocation policy.
According to the policy, each section - primary, elementary and higher - will have one teacher for imparting education to 40 students in a class. However, Noor Khan argued that the policy has affected the teachers as it will increase their workload. He contended that under the 40:1 ratio, schools which have less than 40 students per class will get fewer teachers. The teachers said that it will be difficult for them to keep focus on 40 students.
The counsel informed the court that 60 teachers from Taxila, 89 from Kallar Syedan, 90 from Kotli Sattian, 85 from Kahuta and 200 from Gujar Khan were transferred under the policy.
The counsel argued that in Pakistani primary schools, on average, one teacher is teaching over 40 students which are against international standards. The counsel said that in 2009 the LHC had ordered that each class should have one teacher, irrespective of enrolment. However, the provincial government has ignored the court order while implementing it policy. He requested the court to suspend the policy and accept the petition.