Despite World Bank misgivings that tenure will adversely affect performance, the Sindh government has gone ahead and promised it to 5,800 teachers.
Their main funding comes from the bank whose chief concern is that their performance will deteriorate if they are given permanent employee status. Instead the bank had proposed to extend their contracts for another five years but it is wary of giving them permanent jobs, said an education official.
On Tuesday, however, Senior Minister for Education and Literacy Pir Mazhar-ul Haq announced that the teachers, who had passed the IBA test and were appointed in 2008, will be given permanent jobs after a bill is passed in the Sindh Assembly.
“For the time being, these teachers have been given an extension of three months so that the educational institutions and their jobs are uninterrupted,” said Deputy Programme Manager at the Reform Support Unit, Ghulam Nabi.
Nabi said that the education minister had held meetings with World Bank representatives for three days to persuade them that these teachers were selected on merit and that they will perform their duties with full honesty even after they get tenure. He added that these teachers were appointed according to the recruitment rules, and anyone who scored up to 60% were given jobs in 23 districts of the province. “They were almost 7,495 who passed the standards and still there were more posts to fill,” he said.
For his part, the education minister announced that the government had complete confidence in the teachers and that they would table a bill in the coming session of the Sindh Assembly to give them the permanent status they want. He cautioned the teachers, however, that the World Bank was keeping an eye on them.
These 5,800 teachers are the ones who remained from the total of 7,495 teachers who were appointed in 2007 to improve the deteriorating primary and secondary education of schools. At the end of their three-year contract, the teachers protested for permanent jobs. Working Teachers Committee’s Muhammad Ishaq told The Express Tribune that they have raised the bar of education in the province because these teachers were selected on merit. He said that they deserve to be regularised just like teachers in other provinces. The chairperson threatened to quit if they were not “regularised”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.