ISLAMABAD - When it comes to teachers, there is different policy. In almost all the policies devised and implemented for the government officials of other ministries, the teaching fraternity face discrimination.

There is nothing for teachers as far as rental ceiling, timely promotion, and other perks and privileges are concerned. 

Government quarters have already been alarmed by media reports that bureaucrats of BPS-20 and above have been misusing this policy and there is no check and balance. They have been drawing transport monetisation allowance and keeping government vehicles in their possession simultaneously. On the other hand teachers are still deprived of this facility.

After the upgradation of teachers, over 200 associate professors, principals, headmasters and headmistresses were promoted to grade 20 who, earlier, used to retire in the grades 18 and 19 because of lack of any promotion formula. Like other government officers in BPS-20 and above, they should have been entitled to avail the allowances under monetisation policy of the government but it needs a clarification whether they are allowed to avail the allowance or not because they are teachers.

The policy requires that for the grant of the transport monetisation allowance, the concerned officers should provide a certificate signed by the Principal Accounting Officer i.e. secretary of the concerned ministry that they are not using government vehicles.  On the demand of Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR), the grade 20 teachers and principals wrote to the ministry of capital administration and development (CAD) that they should be given in writing that they have not been using any officials vehicles so they should be allowed to avail the monetisation transport facility. But the ministry instead of giving no objection certificate to the teachers wrote a letter to the Cabinet Division in October to clarify whether the teachers are allowed to avail the facility or not.

And the Cabinet Division after sitting over the letter for over two months has written back to the ministry and raised five objections and queries including whether the teachers are civil servants or not. It seems that exercise may take a long time to reach a decision whether the teachers be allowed to avail the allowance or not. 

Though the teachers till grade 19 have been receiving conveyance allowance according to their grades, those who have been upgraded to grade 20 neither have been getting any conveyance allowance nor monetisation transport facility due absence of any policy for them.

“The principals and teachers in BPS-20 sent a written request, in this regard, to secretary CAD in September 2012. Instead of giving them the required certificate, CAD wrote to Cabinet Division for clarification, in order to put the issue in pipeline. It means nobody wants to give the benefit of monetisation to the teachers. Teachers are being given the same treatment in the civil sector as the low ranking army men receive at the hands of their bosses,” complained a teacher.

An associate professor in BPS-20 of H-8 college while commenting on this discrimination said, “Teaching is perhaps universally glorified profession in terms of clichés and moral speeches but financially least lucrative among all the modern fields of life. Becoming a teacher in the third world counties is like opting a career of life-long suffering and depravities. There is nothing for teachers, no rental ceiling, no timely promotion and no perks enjoyed by other officials. How can a teacher deliver in a classroom if he is not mentally free?”

Another associate professor of H-9 college wishing anonymity said, ‘Teachers in Pakistan are silent spectators of bureaucrats both civil and military, and officials who work in the centers of power, plundering the public money. It seems relevant to look back in the ancient history when slaves were used for teaching. The monetisation policy has brought the slaves and the lords at the same pedestal, let’s see how this dichotomy is settled.”

President of Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) Tahir Mahmood demanded that ‘the teachers should not be treated as stepchildren. The benefit of the policy should also be extended to those teachers who are in BPS-20 and above as they are government officers too’.

Secretary Ministry of CAD Riffat Shaheen Qazi said she could not comment as she was on leave and had no idea about the recent updates of the issue.