RAWALPINDI: A teachers’ representative body has demanded that the Punjab government unconditionally regularise the services of thousands of educators in the province immediately.
Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) President Hafiz Ghulam Mohyeuddin and Secretary-General Kashif Shehzad said that as many as 11,000 secondary school teachers (SSTs) and assistant education officers (AEOs) have been working on contracts for the past six years.
Strongly rejecting the conditions of clearing the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) exam for being regularised, the teachers union representatives said that regularisation must take place without any further conditions.
The PTU representatives contended that teachers were appointed after passing exams conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS), adding that appearing in another exam for the same job was unfair.
“Contractual teachers have stopped receiving their salaries because their contracts have not been renewed,” they complained.
Panning the unfair treatment being meted out to contractual employees, Mohyeuddin and Shehzad said that these teachers have been forced to work for other departments including food, health, finance, etc.
One such example, PTU officials said, were the contractual computer teachers in the province who were deployed at wheat purchasing centres while others were posted at the borders of the province to stop the smuggling of wheat.
“Shut down other departments if teachers have to do all the work,” Mohyeuddin complained.
He added that despite several complaints and warnings of staging protests, their grievances and genuine demands have not been heard.
Pay, service protection demanded
Punjab Educators Association (PEA) has called on the provincial government to grant pay and service protection to teachers across the province.
In a meeting of the association on Monday, which was attended by office-bearers from Rawalpindi district such as Rashid Abbasi, Akhyan Gul Tahir, and others, participants lamented that teachers had been deprived of protection for two years despite explicit court orders.
The PEA office bearers pointed to teachers in neighbouring Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan as well as in the federal capital where teachers are provided pay and service protection. By denying similar protection to teachers in Punjab, they said, was an injustice.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2020.