LAHORE - The Punjab government has agreed to up-gradation of teachers besides considering other demands of the protesting educators on the second day in front of the Punjab Assembly.

Education Minister Rana Mashood yesterday assured the teachers’ representatives that no teachers of the schools given under the control of the Punjab Education Foundation or Danish authority will be dismissed. Additional Secretary Schools Mohammad Akhtar held successful negotiations with the Punjab Teachers’ Union representatives.

The protesting teachers, many of whom from other districts began heading back to their homes. The Charring Cross was finally cleared for traffic after 32 hours.

Akhtar said that two types of the committees will be established - with PTU president or representative part of them - at provincial as well as district level.

PTU president Sajjad Akbar Kazmi also showed an official document in the gathering that reflected that the provincial government had agreed to accept their demands. He said that the government had assured them to stop the second phase of privatisation till the committees decide the matter with consensus. He assured the participants that a summary will be moved to the Finance department about the up-gradation of the teachers.

The agreement reads all the teachers serving in the Primary Schools (BP 9) will be up-graded to BP 14, and the Elementary School Teachers (EST BP 14) to BP 16, and the Secondary School Teachers (SST 16) to grade 17.

Moreover, the government also assured the teachers that the letters of fine slapped to the teachers would soon be withdrawn after consultation with the EDOs education.

It was revealed by the PTU leader that Rana Mashood had bashed the nefarious plan Schools Secretary Abdul Jabbar Shaheen’s to destroy the system of education in public sector. The secretary wanted to privatise all the public sector institutions including the Directorate of Staff Development (DSD) and the good working schools, Sajjad Kazmi told The Nation.

He demanded that the Punjab government should remove the Secretary SED Shaheen and appoint a competent officer who could run the public sector education system. He further urged the government to include the period the educators worked before their confirmation in their service.

The teachers’ protest continued for the second day against what they called privatisation of their schools. Hundreds of teachers from different parts of the province had gathered for a sit-in outside the Punjab Assembly after talks with the provincial government remained unsuccessful.

On the PTU call, a good number of teachers both male and female teachers from the neighbouring as well as remote districts participated despite strong heat wave. They expressed strong resentment over the policies of the School Education Department (SED).

The PTU had claimed that a good number of the government schools were being privatised despite good performance. They termed the move a conspiracy to endanger the entire system of public education.

The protesting teachers raised their voice against a recent policy of the education department under which primary schools are being handed over to the private sector on the pretext of low performance.

They said that the good performing schools were also being handed over to Punjab Daanish Schools Authority to turn them into ‘centres of excellence’ despite the fact they were already performing well.

They said that the government’s move to 'outsource' the public schools would lead the education sector to more complicated phase.