School health and nutrition supervisors: 1,000 could lose their jobs

Published: January 28, 2011

DCOs delegated power to extend contracts, but they say no funds.

LAHORE: The future of hundreds of school health and nutrition supervisors in BS-17 hangs in the balance as the Health Department has refused to extend their contracts and left district coordination officers in charge of their fate, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The health and nutrition supervisors were hired in 2008 for 2-3 year contracts under the Punjab Health Sector Reform Programme (PHSRP), which was funded by the Asian Development Bank.

A supervisor each was recruited to the basic health units (BHUs) in 2008 and 2009 for salaries of Rs29,000 per month. According to the Health Department, there are currently over 1,000 school health and nutrition supervisors working in the province under the National School Health Programme.

Their job is to promote health education and conduct screening programmes in public schools. They are meant to teach teachers to deliver lectures on nutrition to their students. They are supposed to form committees to screen children for hearing, vision and skin diseases and refer the sick ones to BHUs.

An official in the Health Department said that there had been no service rules and regulations formed for the school health and nutrition supervisors, allowing massive favouritism in hiring. “They were recruited on the basis of recommendations from the legislators of the ruling party,” said the official.

He said that the Punjab government had asked the Health Department and district governments to take over the PHSRP once the employment contracts of the nutrition supervisors end, but both were reluctant to comply.

The Health Department on January 14, 2011, wrote a letter to all DCOs of the province granting them the power to extend the supervisors’ contracts. Dozens of health and nutrition supervisors whose contracts have expired approached the Health Department seeking extensions, but they were told to take their pleas to the DCO concerned. The supervisors said that they had been told by the DCOs that they did not have the money to give them new contracts.

Nasir Hussain, a school health and nutrition supervisor in DG Khan, has been refused an extension by the DCO concerned and by the Health Department. “I served three years in the school assigned to me and I did my job well. I don’t understand the policy for extending contracts, or whether they are allowing this at all,” he said.

The section officer at the Health Department who deals with school health and nutrition supervisors said that they could not be made permanent employees because of a lack of regulations in this regard.

PHSRP Project Director Farasat Iqbal was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th,  2011.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Madiha
    Jan 28, 2011 - 11:17AM

    we shns really worried with this situation.though we got extension of contract this year.this article is voice of our hearts.Recommend

  • Muhammad Adnan Ashraf
    Jan 29, 2011 - 6:37PM

    We SH&NS will protest hardly if this happen our contract should b extended, we will appeal to high court, what did the sargodha div sh&ns??? why they case to session court??Recommend

  • Shafqaat Adalat
    Jan 29, 2011 - 10:31PM

    We must raise our voice with unity otherwise this unjustice system will rule ourselves. I astonished to hear this news. In our country Millions of people unemployed but our politicians r ready to again unemploy such cream of nation all of SH&NS are Master degree holders. How they sacrify.Recommend

  • JAVEDIQBAL
    Jan 31, 2011 - 10:39PM

    dear it is hard fact that we can not get permanent untill we have service rules. so we strivve hard to make service rule as early as possible.
    more i do not agree with this statement that most of nutritions are selected by political influence. it was totally on merit base.Recommend

  • MUHMMAD WASIM SATTI
    Feb 4, 2011 - 10:44AM

    We ,SHNS must stand unite to cope this critical situation.furthermore,it is the responsibility of sec.health to farm job structure & cadre as Sec.S&GAD NOTIFICATION dated 10-11-2010 all employees BS17 and above r regularized.Concern Officials must ponder over their statements & have no right to play the lives Of SHNS, they can’t remove &we raise our voice at any forum. Recommend

  • Muhammad Asif Raza(DIST ATTOCK)
    Feb 7, 2011 - 2:19AM

    why Mr. Khadim-e-Ala is not focusing on this matter, punjab govt is discriminating with health and nutrition supervisors.thanks to this article for raising our issue in media. we are not getting paid for last 5 months and still we are working with full dedication, plz dont play with our future.
    if this matter is not resolved on emergency basis then we will show how unite and strong we are…. inshALLAH. Recommend

  • sh faisal
    Feb 8, 2011 - 7:18PM

    our edo health is playing with our future. we provide every thing which he wants but he dont extend our contract. high court order to release their salaries but he dont obey.Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2011 - 4:01PM

    Dist Attock SH&NS Should go to high court or Get the help from Media. Bcz Media is now playing vital role in our society for implementation on the orders of court. Khadim e Ala se appeal hai k wo is serious issue per nazar e karam farmain.Recommend

  • Shafqaat gujjar
    Feb 13, 2011 - 1:02PM

    Courts are giving decisions but government is not taking action on the decisions. What can do by courts. Implementation is the responsibility of Govt. May Allah Bless on our country and Politicians for thinking about Educated People.Recommend

  • JAVEDIQBAL
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:23AM

    dear we have to play in two ways. one in court and other in political side. then can get required results. thanx allaha ujrta contract had renewed and will got salaries with in two days.all it is joint effoort of our colleagues which work day and night for common goal and welfare for all colleages. we need this spirit to get permanent in whole punjab. other wise we all b ZALIL O KHAWARRecommend

  • Feb 25, 2011 - 4:37PM

    Dear Javed I agree with u but after getting new contract we must do work for our permanancy bcz permanancy is better solution than this day by day government black mailingRecommend

More in Punjab