islamabad - Suspended academic activity in schools and colleges due to ongoing protest of daily wage teachers has frustrated parents as final exams are nearing.

Final exams for grades five and eight are about to be started from the third week of February followed by exams of other classes and these days are crucial for preparations but due to ongoing strike of hundreds of teachers, mostly from model setup, academic activity in over 15 schools has come to a halt. The institutions suffering badly include Islamabad Model College for Boys (IMCB) I-8/3, IMCB G-6/3, IMCB F-8/4, Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) F-10/2, and IMCG I-10/4.   

The parents whose children go to these schools are perturbed about the future of their children as students instead of attending classes roam the streets, parks and markets.

“Exams are about to start but no classes have been going on for the last two months,” said Mohammad Saeed, an anxious father whose two sons study in IMCB I-8/3. “It is peak time to prepare for exams but students are hardly attending classes. The students wander with their friends and I’m afraid they might get involved in some unhealthy activity.” About a week ago, the students of the aforesaid I-8/3 school blocked an adjacent road and damaged a car during a protest against suspension of classes.

Out of strength of 1,000 students, only about 200 come to school in evening shift, a teacher told The Nation. “The students of class IX and class X who have to take bard exams are also not coming to the school. I don’t know where they spend the whole day,” he said.

Likewise, the studies of over 6,000 students enrolled in IMCB G-6/3 are also badly hurt as over 80 teachers of this institution work on daily wage basis and they have been boycotting classes for over two months. Lab attendants have been taking classes in many schools and results of the second-term exam is yet to be announced.

Nearly, 2,200 employees working on daily wage basis have been protesting for the release of their salaries and regularisation of services since November 16 last year. Of them over 550 are teaching in model colleges. Though salaries are being released to them after deductions as they boycotted their duties yet the regularisation issue is still pending.

The students have been suffering badly, as teachers are on the roads and their issue has been highlighted on every forum but the government opts to remain unresponsive, said Rabia Waheed, spokesperson of daily wage teachers.

Nobody wants to sit on road in this chilling weather while leaving their children at home, she said. “We are ready to call off strike if the government announces to regularise the services of daily wage employees as per the court’s orders,” she said.

“The cases of the protesting teachers have been forwarded to the scrutiny committee constituted on the court’s orders. The committee is scrutinising the cases of other 25 to 30 departments also,” said Moin Uddin Wani, Director General of Federal Directorate of Education. The committee has been asked to give priority to daily-wage teachers’ cases, and the FDE can do nothing more than that, he added.

“The appointments from grade 16 and onwards is the prerogative of Federal Public Service Commission only. There is no way to bypass the FPSC even the prime minister cannot do this by executive orders,” he said. The teachers will have to wait and go through the set procedure, he added.

Regarding the academic loss of students, he said the existing staff has been asked to take extra classes.