The education department of Rawalpindi is facing a host of problems since it lifted its ban on the transfers of schoolteachers in the district for a month, The Express Tribune has learnt.
More than 2,000 posts of schoolteachers have been left vacant in rural areas of Rawalpindi district, in addition to erratic and erroneous postings. In some instances, multiple schoolteachers have been appointed for a single post, an official of the office of Executive District Officer (EDO) Education Rawalpindi revealed on Monday.
The official informed that the education department lifted the ban on transfer of schoolteachers for a month in June, during which majority of schoolteachers from rural areas applied for transfers to schools in urban areas. These transfers have left over 2,000 posts vacant in rural areas of Rawalpindi district, he said. He added that the education department is planning to advertise the vacant posts in few days to hire new teachers, mostly female, for the primary and secondary level.
Punjab Teachers Union Rawalpindi President Saghir Alam Chaudhry said that over 400 teachers from other districts were posted in Rawalpindi during June. He said these postings have caused uneasiness among the teachers as the locals of the districts have been deprived of their right get appointed in their own city. He also alleged that the education department make erratic and irregular transfers due to political pressure.
Chaudhry said that according to relevant rules and regulations 50 per cent of vacant posts in every district are to be filled though in-service promotions and the remaining through new appointments, preferring local graduates.
When contacted, EDO Rawalpindi Qazi Zahoorul Haq confirmed that there were about 2,000 posts lying vacant in rural areas of Rawalpindi, however, he assured that the posts are not vacant owing to the recent transfers of schoolteachers. He said that around 3,000 schoolteachers that have been allowed transfers on merit and against vacant posts only.
The EDO said that the posts have been lying vacant for some time but will be filled soon as the Punjab government has decided to induct some 32,000 teachers in the province and hoped that over 1,500 schoolteachers will be hired for Rawalpindi.
About the teachers coming from other districts, the EDO said that as per the department’s rules teachers are allowed to get postings in the district of their choice under certain compulsions.
Numerous petitions have been filed by the schoolteachers from Jehlum, Chakwal, Attock and Rawalpindi with the high court challenging their postings that were ordered by their respective EDOs.
Tasleem Bibi a primary school teacher from Rawalpindi has approached the high court against EDO Rawalpindi for taking back her transfer orders under political pressure and appointing another teacher in her place. Other petitioners claim that they are unable to avail appointments of their choice because they lack the right political connections.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.