HYDERABAD: Hundreds of teachers gathered at a protest organised by Sindh Primary Teachers Association (PTA) outside the press club on Monday against the proposed action to be taken against 'absentee' teachers.
Protests were also held in Dadu, Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Umerkot and other districts. The teachers threatened to boycott their duties in the upcoming local government elections if the education department does not stop punitive actions against the teachers.
The protesting teachers demanded better job facilities and condemned the actions of the government. "The government has threatened to dismiss hundreds of teachers just because they were absent from duty during spot checks," said PTA provincial president Rafique Jarwar.
According to Jarwar, the education department has issued show cause notices under Removal of Service Ordinance (RSO) 2000, to hundreds of teachers. "How can a single day's absence be punished with removal of service without adducing a record of continuous absence?" he asked, while also claiming that a total of 364 teachers from HyderabadHyHasdad have been declared as absentee.
The teachers' representatives accused education department secretary Fazlullah Pechuho for coming down too hard on the teachers and talked about the reported rift between Pechuho and education minister Nisar Khuhro. "Since Khuhro has repeatedly hinted about his conflict with Pechuho, he should join our protest against the secretary," said PTA divisional president Muhib Ali.
The PTA also demanded implementation of a timescale formula for promotions, regularisation of contractual teachers, establishment of a residential colony in each district for teachers, a grant of deceased quota and regularisation of Sindhi language teachers in Karachi.
"We also want the government to amend the draconian RSO with a law that provides greater job security to public servants," said PTA secretary Abdul Shakoor.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2013.
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