Govt mulling options to resolve teachers’ issue

KARACHI – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led Sindh government has expressed its willingness to resolve the issue of teachers protesting for their salaries and appointments on case to case basis.

A provincial government official speaking on condition of anonymity said that the issue is likely to be resolved within a week as the chief minister Sindh had summoned a meeting for the purpose which would likely take place within next 48 hours.

“The provincial government has decided to take up the issue of teachers on individual basis and will direct the education department to appoint those who had better credentials,” he said.

He said that those who had small periods of contracts with the education department would likely be given their salaries and their contracts would be re assessed after their expiry.

“There are certain teachers that had been involved in forging documents and involved in other forgery for acquiring this job and the Sindh government is not ready to tolerate these people at any cost,” he said adding that strict action would also be taken against all those who are ghost teachers and are working elsewhere other than teaching.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chief minister was informed in a meeting that the salaries of 3,700 teachers have been stopped for verification of their credentials and despite repeated notices to them only 16 of them appeared for verification while the others do not bother to appear.

The chief minister earlier in a meeting had directed the secretary education to inquire into the matter and register FIR against those who are involved in the fraud and forgery for issuing illegal recruitment orders.

Meanwhile, the protest demonstration of the teachers from the entire Sindh entered second day, on Wednesday as they continued their hunger strike in front of Karachi Press Club (KPC) against Provincial Education Ministry for not regularizing their jobs. The protest is being led by Primary Teacher Association Sindh (PTA) President Shafi Muhammad and Ali Nawaz Pahnwar.

Sharing details with The Nation, the participants of the protest informed that they belonged to Karachi, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Larkana, Thatta, Sukkur and Kashmore and were here to protest for their due rights. Narrating their stories they said that sole purpose of their protest is to get permanent job but in this protest teachers has also included some demands that were the missing facilities at government schools.

Criticising Sindh government, they said that rulers allocate billions of rupees funds for the government schools in yearly budget that include the donations from World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union and others but unfortunately government has done nothing for the betterment of government schools and majority of the schools were still deprived of water, sanitation, boundary walls, electricity and furniture.

During the day, activists of the civil society and human rights also joined the protest to express solidarity with protesting teachers. Whereas representatives of political parties including PTI Arif Alvi, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Muhaz-Bashir group (JSQM-B) Chairman Sanan Khan Qureshi, Amjad Mahesar, Kehar Ansari and Ameer Hassan Pahnwer of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Muhaz-Aresar (JSQM-A) also reached KPC to express unity with the teachers.

Teachers are not terrorists and it was awful to see that how Provincial rulers treated a person (Teacher) who helps the youth to acquire Knowledge, said Primary Teacher Association Sindh (PTA) Chairman Shafi Muhammad while talking to The Nation. The recent movement that started on December 10th from Bhitt Shah Town in form “Long March” reached Karachi with the motive to fulfill their legitimate demands. But the ruling government instead of reviewing the issue brutally tortured the peaceful protestors, said Shafi terming the incident a shameful act.

The PTA chairman further said that about 21,500 teachers were recruited during the last tenure of the Pakistan People Party (PPP) government and surprisingly took a U-turn and refused to regularize teachers, forcing them to come on roads for their due rights. 

He said that Chief Minister Sindh remarks over the teachers protest that they were protesting over the directives of a political party has hurt the sentiments of teachers.

Quoting the regularisation of teachers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Punjab provinces, he said that provincial rulers of the both province has regularized the jobs of the NTS test passed teachers whereas when it was the turn of SIndh government to take steps in this regard it adopted a cruel policy and ruthlessly tortured teachers instead of regularizing them.  Pointing out towards another issue of the Sindh teachers, he informed that former Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah withdrew 16th scale of the teachers. Furthermore, the provincial government has installed biometric system in schools only for male and it is the need of the hour to include female too, he added.

Sharing the details of the injured during the demonstration, PTA Chairman alleged that more than 40 teachers including four women were critically injured in police torture and at least 200 teachers were detained illegally, but were later released. Karachi Commissioner Ijaz Ahmed Khan has promised that Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah will meet our demands on December 28th, informed Shafi and warned that teachers will continue hunger strike till death if their demands and issues were not addressed.

 

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