Ad hoc teachers

Unfortunately, these employees continue to languish on their contractual positions for decades

June 22, 2022


There is a common practice in governments, especially the bureaucracy, of hiring employees on an ad hoc basis while giving them a false hope of regularisation after few years of service. Unfortunately, these employees continue to languish on their contractual positions for decades, in some cases, and are often blackmailed and exploited. In the end, they are either laid off or forced to retire without benefits.

A similar situation has befallen the teachers of K-P who, out of sheer desperation, travelled from Peshawar to hold a sit-in outside PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s home in Islamabad’s Bani Gala area. Their demands were fairly simple: the regularisation of 58,000 contractual teachers, serving for four long years, from 1 July with annual increment; and senior positions for some deserving teachers. Fortunately, an agreement has been signed, with the protest ending on assurances that the demands will be implemented. It is rather surprising that such a situation has arisen in the backyard of a political party that promised to prioritise education. The problem, however, persists throughout Pakistan and such practices have long been used by state apparatuses as a form of exploitation and a tool of corruption.

The remedy is fairly straightforward. Governments should introduce regularisation policies whereby x number of employees that have excelled in their field while working for y number of years should annually be regularised, but only up to a certain grade. Those who want to acquire senior positions must meet the minimum eligibility criteria or pass relevant standardised tests. Moreover, considering that 58,000 contracts have been given to just teachers in one province alone, the government must seriously think about limiting the number of ad hoc employees for each institution. Let us also be clear on the fact that economic instability has only exacerbated a phenomenon that has long been brewing because of mismanagement and negligence.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2022.

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