PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Primary Teachers Association Friday announced boycott of anti-polio campaign scheduled for Peshawar tomorrow (Sunday).
According to Primary Teachers Association President Malik Khalid Khan, they opted for boycott over poor law and order.
He said: "Peshawar is under threat, why should we put our lives at risk? How could we (teachers) feel ourselves secure while vaccinating children, if well-equipped forces and policemen are constantly being attacked in militancy-plagued Peshawar.” “Although polio vaccination is not our duty, we will join in the cause if government establishes campaign centres in schools,” he held.
The president said: “The association has been enjoying the support of other primary teachers’ bodies and boycott is a collective decision. Lives are more precious than (polio) drive.”
"In 2013, at least four teachers have been gunned down while participating in anti-polio campaigns. Instead of helping and assisting financially, nobody even asked about their families, which is regrettable and unfortunate," he explained.
"I categorically say, we will not take part in anti-polio campaign anymore, come what may," Khalid Khan said. The government has assigned duties to some 9,000 primary teachers for Sunday's anti-polio drive in Peshawar without taking them into confidence. "Why not the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai should come forward and must lead polio eradication campaign with the help of his department, doctors, nurses and other technical staff, if it is too much important for him," he said. He questioned as to why teacher perform duties of health officials. He said that it was not part of their job description. "we are teachers to educate the nation, not vaccinate," he added.