LAHORE - Delay in lifting the ban on teachers’ transfers after the summer vacation can severely damage the teaching activities in the new calendar year.

Sources told The Nation that the delay in lifting the ban on transfers of teachers was delayed as Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had constituted a committee to give recommendations. It was done after the School Education department moved a summary to the CM Office to lift ban on transfers. The committee submitted its comments, and the summary was again moved to the CM Office for approval to lift the ban, according to the sources.

The sources said the Education department and the CM Office were equally responsible for the delay in lifting the ban.

Education experts believe it would further damage the educational activities in the public sector schools. Lifting the ban now will greatly disturb the beginning of academic year, as all the public sector schools mostly start their teaching season after the summer vacation are over, besides the deficiency of educators.

Muhammad Yousuf, a retired principal of a government college, said that each movement of the government seemed to be targeting the damage to public sector institutions. After entry of the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) and then privatisation of government schools and NGOs, the delay in lifting of ban of teachers would be a great loss to education, he added. “On one hand, the government was hiring new highly qualified teachers but it badly failed to manage their services,” he regretted.

The owning of private schools by the PEF was the biggest attack on state owned education system that was accommodating vast majority of low income people. “The same number of students from poor segment of society was attracted by the PEF funded private schools that too at the cost of damage to the public sector schools,” Yousuf told The Nation yesterday.

Some international bodies are funding in different public sector organisations like education, irrigation, housing, health etc. The construction of Early Childhood Rooms (EC Rooms) at government schools is a good step besides observing dengue day, day care centres, provision of missing facilities, and construction of new class rooms and schools upgrade.

However, lack of a permanent and balanced education policy is altogether missing. “Teachers have been facing severe reservations on their job security since the government announced handing over public schools to Daanish authority or private organisations,” said Muhammad Afzal, a retired government school teacher.

“The conversion of government schools to English medium schools, the abolishing of practical experiments in matriculation examinations and then reintroducing them etc were new experiments in education system,” he added.

Despite the fact that after years the public sector schools showed overwhelmingly good results in the Matric results, the government should have revised its policies that were damaging the public sector educational structure, he further suggested.

According to the documents available with The Nation, the ban on posting/transfer of teaching staff was lifted from July 27; and, from August 19, for principals, headmasters, senior headmasters, headmistresses, senior headmistress. Thus, the process for new school heads transfers will be completed nearly by the end of September that would damage over about two months of the respective institutions. Though, the Punjab Teachers Union has demanded more time for the process of transfers.

As per the official timeline the government has given, teachers are to submit their applications for transfer before August 13. Transfer orders will be issued from August 24 to August 27. Teachers will have to report to their new schools from August 27 to August 31.

As the SED Secretary Abdul Jabbar Shaheen was unavailable for comments, an official requesting anonymity said that the Punjab government had badly ignored the schools department. He said that when the SED secretary was on training, no new officer was posted in the school education department.

The government had announced that senior officers and politicians would own the government schools to enhance their capacity but the move was badly failed, he added. “Instead of implementing its old decisions, it started introducing new policies like PEF factor, privatization etc,” the official said while suggesting that instead of introducing education policy by-parts, the government should at once announce a comprehensive one so that the environment of fear on teachers could be averted.