LAHORE - Teachers’ protest for their rights entered the 6th Wednesday.  The protesting teachers staged a demo in front of the Punjab Assembly and they blocked traffic at Faisal Chowk, which troubled motorists and caused traffic jam on The Mall.

Dozens of teacher participated in the protest, led by MMU Central President Hafiz Ghulam Muhayudin. The protesters belonging to different districts of the province, carrying placards and banners were chanting slogans in favour of their demands.

Address the participants of protest, MMU central President Hafiz Ghulam Muhayudin said that teachers must be given scales according to their qualifications. He reiterated his resolve to continue with fight for their rights. On May 12, Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood claimed the protesting teachers did not represent any teachers’ forum.

“The Punjab government has, earlier, accepted all genuine demands of teachers and will spare no effort in future as well,” the minister further said while talking to the media along with representatives of teachers’ organisations at Civil Secretariat.

The representatives of all teachers’ organisations and the government are on the same page,” he claimed, adding the demonstrators were already denied favour by their own kind (teachers).

Mashhood said the educators have a significant importance in the society, therefore, the government has always accepted their genuine demands. Informing about the steps taken by the government for the teachers, the minister said the summary for regularising the teachers on contract has been sent to the chief minister for approval, which will benefit 50,000 teachers.

Even as the education minister disowned the protesting teachers, he emphasised on their demands yet gave all the credit to organisations other than Muttahida Mahaz-i-Usatza (MMU). He told the media that the action taken on the basis of results of Grade 5, 8 and 9 has been stopped. Also the instructions have been issued to EDOs to complete the promotion process up to Grade 16 by May 31 whereas the promotion process of teachers from Grade 17 to 20 has been completed.

Moreover, all DCOs and EDOs have been directed not to take non-teaching duties from teachers, he added. While accepting the demands of the teachers, the minister said the recommendations regarding authority of PST to Deputy DEO instead of DEO has been sent to concerned authority.

He said that repeater students will not be considered drop out and no action will be taken against the teachers.

He said that free provision of syllabus books has been ensured whereas 1300 teachers have been promoted for posting headmasters and head teachers on vacant posts. He said that instructions have been issued to controlling officers for granting two days casual leave to the teachers in case of emergency.

The minister further said a committee has been constituted for giving cash prizes and promotion of those teachers whose students get prominent positions in 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th classes. This committee will submit its report by June 20 and future strategy will be evolved in the light of this report, he added.