Teachers protest for their rights

LAHORE: Teachers staged protest demonstration on Wednesday against alleged prevailing culture of corruption curbing their rights, especially their pay protection and promotion to the next grades.

Hundreds of teachers from different colleges of the province gathered outside Punjab Civil Secretariat to take part in the protest organised by Punjab Professors and Lectures Association (PPLA). A large number of female teachers were also present there.

The protesters were holding placards inscribed with slogans against authorities of the Higher Education department and the Punjab government.

“Why Punjab Chief Minister just understands the language of Molvi Khadim Hussain and not of the teachers’,” said Mehboob Ahmad, one of the protesters during his address to the participants.

“We teachers can use that language but we don’t,” he further said. 

He objected to the lethargic attitude of the officials of the education department raising a question that “why the teachers’ summaries are not treated timely?”.

The PPLA had come there mainly with their three demands including Pay Protection, pay time scale and one step up-gradation.

Faiza Rana, another protester, said that the students’ benefit was the teachers’ benefit and strongly condemned the ‘baboos’ attitude’ saying that the bureaucrats maintain the legacy of colonialism.

“Must check their policies,” said the lady adding that “We’ll not give up.” She said that the authorities had put them on ‘wild goose chase’.

Syed Jawad Raza Bukhari, another protester, said that they had been waiting for their promotion for last many years but their ‘Annual Confidential Reports’ were not signed by the competent authorities.

“Officials retire without fulfilling their liabilities,” said Bukhari adding that “teachers go after them for their ACRs and they just don’t do”.

Another lady protester said that the teachers were stopped from their right to protest and asked to focus just their classes while the ruling Sharifs themselves took the streets to say “Why I was ousted,”.  If they could protest then why not the teachers, she shouted.

Hours long protest at 1pm at the road outside the building of Punjab Civil Secretariat caused traffic mess. Commuters coming from the MAO College side to district courts and from the district courts to Chauburji faced huge troubles due to long queues of cars and vehicles.

During their protest, DPI Colleges Lahore Jahangir Ahmad Chaudhary reached the spot and tried to negotiate with the protesting teachers but they were reluctant. However, another senior official brought them to the table for negotiation. According to an insider, the authorities of the department asked the protesting teachers to give them time till January 20 to take up their matter with the Punjab CM.

“Special Secretary has assured us to take up our matter with the CM,” said one of the protester. “Our leaders have given them time till Jan 20,” he added.

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