LAHORE: The fate of around 50,000 school teachers across Punjab hangs in the balance due to a ban on transfers.
The majority of female teachers, who applied for transfers, have demanded that the government resolve their issues without further delay.
Due to a ban on transfers of teachers, the future of thousands of schoolchildren is also at stake as the majority of the teachers were focusing on their transfers instead of teaching.
“Thousands of teachers across 36 districts of the province are hopeful after the establishment of the new government. They demand that authorities take notice of the issue of transfers,” Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) Secretary General Rana Liaquat said.
On the other hand, sources privy to the developments in the School Education Department said they have formulated a policy of transfers and the process would start across the province in the coming week.
Sources said the Punjab School Education Department was already facing various issues due to the shortage of funds and absences of basic facilities at schools in the province. There were a number of schools which needed immediate attention of the authorities due to their dilapidated infrastructure. However, the most important issue the department was facing was the ban on transfers of teachers across the province. According to sources, around 50,000 applications of transfers including mutual transfers, inter-districts and city transfers have been submitted.
Female teachers said their life and future of their own families and children was at stake as they were forced to stay in other districts to continue their job. They pointed out that the majority of them were also living in hostels in other cities for the sake of their job.
They said due to a ban on transfers, the whole teachers’ community has been disturbed. They have been visiting the offices of the school education department for the past two years to get the issue of their transfers resolved. Around 60% of the applications for the transfers were submitted by female teachers following inter-district transfers and the majority among them were married in other cities over the last two years. Besides this, there were thousands of teachers who were performing services in other districts and had to travel more than 100-150 kilometres daily. The academic process at schools has also been disturbed.
The sources claimed that the issue of teachers’ transfers has also been brought to the notice of Education Minister Dr Murad Raas. The paperwork was complete and a draft was ready in connection with the transfers of the school teachers.
“At this time, we are in negotiation with chief executive officers (CEO) of the district education authorities regarding the transfers and collecting the data at their schools and information about the vacant posts. We are confident that there will soon be good news for teachers,” a senior official of the Punjab School Education Department said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2018.