A lecturer of the Government Girls College Thorar in district Poonch is absent from her duty since 2000 while regularly withdrawing the full salary.
The Express Tribune has learnt that there are 19 lecturers in various government degree colleges in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) who are absent from their duties for years but the education department has been paying them regularly.
Sources say Rohi Shaukat has not turned up for her mathematics class at the Thorar college for the last 15 years, while Azra Anwar, an Urdu lecturer at the Government Girls College Abbaspur, district Poonch, has not gone to the college since 2003.
Raaba Shabnam Minhas, an economics lecturer at the Government Girls College Beerpani, district Bagh, and Naheeda Altaf, an assistant professor at Government Girls College Muzaffarabad are absent since 2006.
Teachers who are absent from colleges since 2007 include Government Girls College Khark, Rawalakot, Physics Assistant Professor Nasra Firdous; Government Girls College Dhirkot Urdu lecturer Parveen AKhtar; Government Boys Degree College Chakar English lecturer Babar Bilal; Government Degree College Palandri commerce lecturer Muhammad Shafiq; Government Boys Inter College Mang political science lecturer Muhammad Shafat Khan; and Government Boys College Hajeera Librarian Sakhawat Khan.
Similarly, Government Girls College Kalan English lecturer Nighat Ishaq; Government Girls College Chakar Islamic studies lecturer Fiza Nooreen Ghori; and Government Girls College Bagh history lecturer Kiran Saeed have been found absent since 2008 and no action has been taken against them by the government so far.
Moreover, Asiya Sami, an Arabic lecturer at the Government Girls Post Graduate College Khark, Rawalakot, and Alya Sarwar, an English lecturer at the Government Inter Girls College Jandala, have not shown up at the college since 2011.
Teachers who are absent since 2009 include Government Girls Degree College Athmuqam biology lecturer Tooba Shaukat; Government Girls College Chakar zoology lecturer Saima Naz; Government Girls Inter College Qalan political science lecturer Shahzan Malik; and Government Girls College Dhirkot economics lecturer Sadia Haleema.
All these teachers have been regularly receiving salaries despite their years-long absence. Sources say the lecturers have managed all this as they have ‘strong political connections’.
The AJK education department is currently pursuing an investigation into the scandal.
AJK Minister for Higher Education and IT Matloob Inqalabi told The Express Tribune that the government will investigate the issue and take action against those found guilty. AJK spends 35 per cent of its budget amounting to Rs17 billion on the salaries of the employees of education department every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.