Teachers and headmasters have complained about summer classes in public schools, saying the Education Department has no uniform policy and they are being deprived of allowances.
Summer camps are being held in some public schools and not in others. The headmaster of one school told The Express Tribune that he had applied to the Education Department to exempt his school from holding summer classes, after his boss told him to arrange them. “Parents are not willing to send their children to school in the scorching heat,” he said. “I asked my immediate boss to allow us to drop the idea of holding a summer camp but he said the Education Department could issue a show-cause notice against us. So I filed an application with the department asking that we be exempted.”
Teachers serving at the summer camps are upset that they did not get their mobility or conveyance allowance in their June salaries. The allowance is meant to compensate for the cost of travelling to school every day. “Not a single teacher has been paid this allowance for June while hundreds of government schools are holding summer camps,” said the headmaster of another public school. “Where is the incentive for teachers to attend the camps?”
He said that headmasters “with connections” had refused to hold summer camps. “I submitted an application signed by parents requesting that there shouldn’t be any summer camp amidst the scorching heat and load shedding, but to no avail,” he said.
An Education Department official said the idea of holding summer camps came from parents, but he didn’t show any such application submitted to the department.
Punjab Teachers Union President Allah Rakha Gujjar said that the law didn’t allow the government to assign teachers any jobs in winter or summer vacations.
He claimed that summer schools were being organised in certain areas for the benefit of private schools which had not followed the government’s decision to start vacations on June 1. “Those schools can now just say that they are holding summer classes like in public schools,” he said.
He said that he expected that the government would ignore the teachers’ concerns till they physically protested against the decision on the streets.
Education (Schools) Secretary Aslam Kamboh said classes were being held between 8am and 11am. He said that it was not possible to check which teachers were coming to the camp and which were not, hence no one was being given the mobility allowance.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.