Schools end year on sour note

Natural disasters, diseases and administrative negligence hamper academic activities

Adnan Lodhi December 29, 2022


The year 2022 proved to be challenging for both public and private-sector education in Punjab, with stakeholders spending most of their time struggling to have their concerns addressed by the relevant authorities. The Punjab government faced criticism throughout the year for not fulfilling teachers’ basic demands and the community protested on several occasions for its rights.

The services of around 14,000 secondary school educators and assistant educators were not regularised this year either, with around 100,000 teaching positions remaining vacant in Punjab.

The worst incident for the sector this year was the destruction of around 200 schools due to the worst flood in the province. Thousands of students suffered as their education was halted by the flood, while a large number of children could not be admitted to schools in South Punjab and other affected areas of the province .

In the final few weeks of the year, schools in Lahore were closed for three days a week due to smog, after thousands of students reported health problems.

On the other hand, the provincial government took commendable steps, including the introduction of the Teachers Transfer policy, upgrading the Insaf School Project, the Establishment of Transgender schools and the distribution of mobile tablets among teachers. However, the teaching community stated that this year was crucial regarding basic rights and issues in the education sector.

The closure and destruction of around 200 schools during the record-breaking floods proved the heaviest hit to the sector. Education activities in the four districts of Punjab were halted, while thousands of students suffered due to internal displacement leaving them with no place to attend school.

Additionally, education was disrupted when schoolteachers were engaged in dengue duties, while students and teachers equally suffered from the disease. Education activities further suffered this year, when smog and air pollution choked the big cities in Punjab. As a result, the government announced that schools would only be open three days a week at Lahore, after students reported respiratory issues.

Academic affairs suffered throughout the year due to the non-availability of 100,000 teachers across the province. Though announced, teachers’ recruitment was not started, in spite of the issue being highlighted on social media and demands made of the Punjab government to start recruitment. Furthermore, the regulation of around 14,000 teachers was left unresolved.

The teaching community has been suffering for the last eight years due to the non-regulation of educators.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2022.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ