SHABQADAR: Community school teachers in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) once again protested against non-payment of salaries and contractual jobs on Wednesday.
Teachers blocked the road in front of the Fata Secretariat after the one-week deadline for payment of salaries lapsed. The protestors were backed by Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao (PPP-S) Watanpal organisation, Jamat-e-Islami and Tanzeem-e-Asatiza.
The protest ended after officials from the education department told the community school teachers that their demands will be met by next week. Fata Secretariat Education Director Hashim Khan told The Express Tribune that by Monday all payments will be made.
He added that recommendations for permanent jobs have been forwarded to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor for a final approval. “Permanent appointments will also be made by next week.”
Anzar Gul, who was leading the protest, said teachers have not been paid over the past seven months. Other teachers said they had protested in Islamabad for a whole month, but their demands had still not been met.
“These teachers are working in areas where the writ of the government has finished… they work in areas which the authorities have never been able to access,” said Tanzeem-e-Asatiza President Abdul Rahim. “Most women have to walk for more than an hour to reach their schools, and they do this in areas infested by IEDs.”
“Authorities have promised to make our jobs permanent and give our salaries within a week. If they go back on their word again, we will organise a large-scale protest here,” said Shakim Khan, a teacher from Waziristan.