KARACHI: The Sindh government says it will provide time scale and teaching allowances to 126,000 teachers along the pattern followed by the Balochistan government, according a notification issued on Tuesday.
Despite the much-awaited announcement, however, teachers were not happy to hear that they will be paid for their services from April 7, 2010, instead of from July 18, 2007, as was stated in their original demands during their protests – one of which turned violent outside the governor house on May 27, resulting in the use of a water cannon and batons by law-enforcers.
A condition has also been imposed by the Sindh government on the teaching allowance, which does not entitle teachers who have already availed benefits prior to 2001 on the basis of qualification to receive allowances. Officials said that the government could not stretch its finances beyond Rs189 million, a sum that the government would now pay for teaching allowances under the current proposal.
Teachers initially rejected the government’s decision.
After the stipulations, only 3,000 teachers in Sindh will benefit from the proposal, Secondary School Association vice-president Mohammed Hayyat Nizamani told The Express Tribune.
Teachers, however, postponed a continuation of their protests outside the Karachi Press Club after a number of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) representatives assured them of finding a solution to their demands before the upcoming budget. Teachers will be given allowances on the basis of their qualification, training and performance, the notification issued by the education department stated.
Primary school teachers, who hold matric certifications as well as Primary Teacher Certificates (PTC), will be given an additional allowance of Rs500 per month while junior school teachers, holding F.A/FSc degrees as well as a certificate of teaching, will be given an additional Rs750 each month. Meanwhile, higher school teachers, with a Bachelors or a Masters in education, will be given an additional sum of Rs1,000 per month, teachers were notified.
Similarly, it was notified that primary school teachers with a basic scale (grade-7) will be promoted to grade-10 after nine years of service. They will become grade-11 employees after 14 years of service and grade-14 employees with a teaching experience of more than 21 years. Meanwhile, a grade-15 teacher must have 25 years of teaching experience.
Promotions will be considered after a teacher’s service record and competency have been scrutinised, education minister Pir Mazharul Haq said at a press conference on Tuesday while lamenting over the incompetency of the teachers who had not attended schools for the past 20 days. He added that their actions had inconvenienced students and parents alike.
He said, however, that the discrimination regarding allowances for teachers in urban and rural areas, will be resolved.
“When the PPP government came into power, we lifted the ban on welfare organisations,” said Haq, adding that a meeting had been held at the Chief Minister House on April 7, where a committee had been formed to meet the teachers’ demands.
“Some people, however, said that a summary for their demands was rejected and they came out on the streets against us,” said Haq, while criticising teachers’ protests and accrediting the action as a “conspiracy against the government”.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 9th, 2010.
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