KARACHI - Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq on Friday conceded that the officials of the department were not abiding by his orders to demote those 111 teachers, who had been promoted 'out-of-turn' during the previous government. Though, with the nexus of the then education departments officers, the 22 teachers challenged the cancellation orders in the court of laws and secured stay against withdrawal of their promotions, but the Sindh Education Department will fight its case in court through Advocate General of Sindh, he vowed. During question hour of Sindh Assembly, Pir Mazhar said that since taking over the charge of department as minister, the departments officers have not implemented his orders regarding cancellation of the illegal promotions of teachers in the previous government. Resultantly, he has brought number of changes in the department, but he did not share what changes he had made in the education department. To a question put by PPPs Humera Alwani, who sought details of the out-of-turn promotion of teachers in the education department during the previous government, the Minister said that 93 out-of-turn promotions had been reported in the Dadu, 17 in Shikarpur and one teacher got promotion without Departmental Promotional Committee (DPC) during previous government. He pledged that all the illegal promotions of the previous government will be cancelled. To another query of Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto regarding a ban on OPS, the Sindh Education Minister replied in affirmative, saying that it is fact that according to the Sindh Cabinets decision the posting on Own Pay Scaly (OPS) has been banned in the province. Presently 33 colleges in the province are headed by the Principals of lower grades (BPS-18), having look after charges/performing as in-charge Principals due to the shortage of BPS-19 grade officers, Education Minister said, adding, however, recently 395 officers have been promoted to BPS-19 from BPS-18, hence the department is working for replacing lower grade Principals with officers of appropriate grades in concerned districts. Pir Mazhar disclosed that some of the officers, who got college side promotion in 19 grades, are not ready to take charge as Principals of colleges, but the department has declared on them that colleges will not run through their wish. Lawmakers raising their question insisted that despite the ban on OPS and deputation, lots of junior officers working on senior posts in education department. Chairman Public Accounts Committee Jam Tamachi Unar said that out of turn promotion and posting on OPS was still continue in present government, which should be discouraged. The Education Minister responding to the issue raised by the PAC chairman, said that from very first day he had taken firm stand that the education department should be kept clean from OPS, deputation and out of turn promotions as he always regretted to entertain the applications of the colleagues and different departments regarding posting on OPS, thats why he is unpopular minister. He stressed for merit in education system, saying that the World Bank providing Rs4 billion annually to bring betterment in education. However, interviews through IBA and Sindh University have been conducted to recruit teachers in education system with funding of WB, he said, adding that to ensure the Sindhi learning in all schools, the Sindhi Language Teachers are also being recruited in all over the province. He informed the house that management and academic cadre of officers in education department to be separated soon as CM has approved the policy in this regard. To another question, Minister said that majority of teachers were recruited on bogus and illegal way during 1998 by then government, however 274 cases of them have been considered on genuine basis. He further said that 5,885 teachers who succeeded in tests conducted by IBA Sukkur during 2007 have been posted as PST, JST and HST on school specific basis and availability of posts. The Education Minister maintained that on the recommendations of World Bank, a ban has been imposed on sanctioning and opening new schools till the closed schools are made functional. To another question, he said that devolution plan has deteriorated the education system which devolved to the local governments, saying that the Sindh government wants to transfer back the education department from district/local governments to provincial government. He further said that numbers of closed schools are increasing due to local government control, adding that out of 7,575 closed schools; at least 2500 schools were brought under functional. A huge number 1,543 unregistered private schools are functioning in Sindh province, however 9,122 registered private schools are functioning, he concluded.