Cholistan community schools teachers on Wednesday voiced opposition to handing over the schools to non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
During a meeting with Cholistan Development Authority (CDA) Managing Director (MD) Iqbal Hussain, they said they would set up a protest camp in front of the chief minister’s residence if the government did not revoke decision. They said their 5,000 students would also protest.
They said the government had allocated Rs2.5 billion for the livestock but not shown adequate concern for the students. “We are running schools in tree shade in extreme weather conditions.”
The government set up 75 community schools in Cholistan in 2010 under the Punjab Literacy Programme and appointed 150 woman teachers. It wrapped up the project in March. The teachers said the CDA had proposed that the government hand over the schools to some NGOs. They told Hussain they would oppose the “privatisation”. They demanded that the government regularise their services. Hussain said the CDA would hand over the schools to NGOs having a good repute and experience. He said the authority would monitor these NGOs. He said salaries of junior teachers would be raised to Rs7,000 and those of senior teachers to Rs9,000. He said the Punjab Education Foundation would provide funds to run these schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2014.
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