PESHAWAR - All Primary Teachers Association (APTA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sunday demanded Shaheed package for the two polling staff schoolteachers who died in the line of duty in recently held local government elections.

Announcing a complete boycott from election duties in future, the APTA President Malik Khalid Khan held district administration and elementary and secondary education department responsible for the on-duty death of their two colleagues.

Addressing a condolence reference held for the deceased teachers here, he reiterated that primary teachers wouldn’t perform election duties, be it general elections, local bodies or by-polls. Relatives of the deceased teachers were also present on the occasion.

Khalid Khan informed that a female senior primary schoolteacher, Shabana Shaheen, died as a stray bullet hit her on head. She was on her way back home after performing duty as assistant presiding officer at a polling station in the environs of Peshawar on Kohat Road. The female teacher had to hire an auto-rickshaw to reach home, as election staff did not provide her conveyance to drop her at home. Likewise a senior English teacher, Khalid Khan died of cardiac arrest due to suffocation at the polling station.

Not only this, he said that teachers including females were manhandled at polling stations and tortured by activists of certain political parties saying teachers were not given conveyance facility.

He came down hard on education department and said that no one at education department bothered to acknowledge the services of our deceased teachers. Instead, administration of certain districts has prepared a list of 352 teachers seeking legal action against teachers for negligence in election duty, he said.

He alleged that female teachers were deputed in far-flung areas without having any consultation with the APTA. He criticized the federal government for announcing 7.5 per cent increment for the government employees. He called upon KP government to announce not less than 20 per cent raise in their salaries.

Instead of giving one-step promotion to teachers, the KP government should increase the education budget if government continued subjecting us to step-motherly attitude we would be left with no other option but to launch a full-fledged campaign in the start of September next.

He demanded provincial government to come clear on education employees’ foundation. About 150,000 teachers contribute 100 rupees to the EEF monthly, but nobody knows where these funds were disbursed because teacher community has no representation in it, he concluded.