LAHORE: The latest move by the Punjab School Education Department (SED), to seek details of transfer requests, is seen by teachers as another delaying tactic. They say it is the department’s way of passing the buck to the next government.
The SED has sought details of teachers’ transfer and posting cases, which had been processed by the department between April 1, 2018, and May 31, 2018. For this, the SED has written a letter to the director public instructions (SE/EE) and district education authorities’ (DEAs) chief executive officers (CEOs) of all the 36 districts of the province.
Schoolteachers across Punjab demand resumption of transfers
However, teachers said this was not a sincere attempt to process transfer requests. They believed that the department was trying to delay the process so that the incoming government would have to make a final decision on the matter.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Punjab Teachers' Union (PTU) General Secretary Rana Liaquat Ali said: "The department has written the letter to gain some time and console teachers who have been waiting to get transferred for years." He said that a new chief minister was about to take office soon, the department wants to leave the decision to him or her. He said the previous administration had completed all formalities for transfers before the elections. He appealed to the government to process the transfer orders as soon as possible.
Thousands of teachers had applied for transfers. According to the estimates of the PTU, as many as 7,000 teachers had applied for inter-district transfers and around 50,000 applications had been submitted for transfers within their respective districts.
The ban on transfers was earlier lifted in 2016. In March of this year, the SED again lifted the ban and scheduled the application process from April 1 to May 31. However, the department later halted the transfer process in May as preparations for elections were ongoing and teachers were the major manpower. The CEOs were told not to issue any transfer orders as teachers being deputed for elections duties were undergoing training.
Academic year: SED lifts ban on teachers’ transfer
The SED consequently barred transfers and appointments of schoolteachers till the end of general elections and the formation of a new government. The department told CEOs that: "The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced a schedule on May 21, 2018. You are requested not to transfer or make an appointment, under any circumstances, up till completion of the election process".
Furthermore, the CEOs were instructed to take back any orders of transfer or appointment made recently. "Any order already issued must be withdrawn immediately." The teachers awaiting transfer would now have to wait till the formation of the new government after elections. "The exercise already done by all authorities in this regard will be operative after the election, under the Transfer Policy 2013, and SED will notify a specific date for this."
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2018.
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