No respite: Show-cause notices being issued to ghost educators

Secretary of school education reviews progress of action against absentee, absconding teachers

Our Correspondent December 28, 2016

KARACHI: Newly-appointed school secretary of the provincial education department Jamal Mustafa Syed took notice of the poor progress of action against absentee and absconding teachers in Larkana division.

Syed gave one month to both regional directors of primary and secondary education along with five district education officers (DEOs) of Larkana, Kamber Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Kashmore and Jacobabad to take appropriate disciplinary action against absentee and absconding teachers.

He also directed the DEOs to issue show-cause notices to such teachers, review their responses, arrange personal hearings and then decide, in accordance with the rules, how to deal with the absconders. "Any lapse on this score will not be tolerated," he said, while chairing the first regional follow-up meeting for Larkana. Syed also announced that he would also look into the progress of decisions in the remaining five regions.

During the review of issues of districts in Larkana division in November, 1,893 absconders and 2,937 absent teachers were identified and concerned officers were advised to initiate disciplinary action against them.

Sharing the progress in Larkana district, the director of primary education said that he had issued show-cause notices to 365 out of 398 absconder teachers but has not served the notices to the 671 absentee teachers in the division. The director of secondary education claimed that she had served show-cause notices to all absconding and absentee teachers, numbering 183 and 451 respectively, in district Larkana.

With regard to Jacobabad district, where there are 603 absconding and 737 absentee teachers in both primary and secondary schools, the directors claimed that they had taken action against more than 80% of the teachers. However, they had not brought evidence of such action. Therefore, Syed asked them to share copies of the show-cause notices along with responses submitted by the teachers in order to verify that steps have been taken in this regard.

Due to the absence of representatives from Kamber Shahdadkot district, updates on the progress in the district were not shared during the meeting. As for the remaining two districts, Shikarpur and Kashmore, an official claimed that there were no absent or absconding teachers in the district, which could not be verified as the monitoring and evaluation exercise has not been started there yet. Currently, monitoring and evaluation work is being done in 15 districts of Sindh. The monitoring process in the remaining 14 districts will be initiated in mid-January, 2017.

Syed also reviewed the progress of temporarily and permanently closed schools in the region.

There are at least 467 temporarily and 437 permanently closed schools in Larkana region. The secretary said that all officials must work for the betterment of education with dedication and commitment rather than treating it as a mere job.

He also asked the officials to complete the exercise of teacher-student rationalisation by the next meeting. "I expect that all temporarily closed schools, due to non-availability of teachers, will be opened with better teacher rationalisation exercises," he pointed out.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2016.


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