Schoolteachers from Rawalpindi District have challenged authenticity of their transfers, which will be announced by the Punjab education department on Monday.
Protesting teachers approached the Rawalpindi Education Executive District Officer (EDO) Zahoorul Haq on Sunday, claiming some teachers are exercising political influence to get choice postings in violation of merit and rules. District schoolteachers fulfilling the criteria have been allowed transfers to different schools following a three-year ban which was lifted on July 1.
“The only merit is the agreement of local MNAs or MPAs in getting teachers posted to other schools,” said Aslam Pasha, a veteran teacher waiting outside the EDO office on Sunday. He claimed he has been unable to get transferred to Rawalpindi from Kotli Sattian, despite meeting the requirement of serving in the school for three years.
Another schoolteacher from Gujar Khan said, “I meet the criteria for transfer but I am being refused only because I don’t have a visiting card or a letter from any MPA or MNA with my application.”
Sources in the EDO’s office said they have been “flooded with requests of transfers from schoolteachers”. He said that the office has received more than 4,000 transfer applications in Rawalpindi district, where about 12,000 teachers are presently teaching. “It is not possible to accommodate the teachers’ demands when every other teacher wants transfers of their choice,” he added.
He admitted that public representatives are “pressuring the EDO” to get some teachers transferred to schools of their choice and said many orders had to be cancelled due to political pressure from MPAs.
Punjab Teachers Union Rawalpindi Chapter President Saghir Alam said that after the ban, only teachers with political connections are getting transferred, as the EDO is ready only to oblige the elected representatives of the district. The situation is more precarious as these representatives have forwarded the lists of teachers wanting postings of their choice, Chaudhry said.
“Political influence in transfers is at its peak,” he added.
The EDO Education could not be contacted till the filling of this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.