Teachers and other employees of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) protested outside the directorate on Tuesday against what they called apathy of the government and ‘discriminatory’ policy of the education high-ups in regularisation of their service.
Hundreds of teachers and non-teaching staff working on daily wages in 424 model and federal government institutes chanted slogans against FDE officials and in favour of their demands disrupting traffic on Rohtas Road for hours.
The charged protesters kept chanting slogans when FDE Director-General Aamir Ashraf Khawaja arrived and some of them met him in his office.
Some of the teachers wept before the DG while narrating their woes.
“My widowed daughter has not been regularised despite court order,” one of the protesters told the DG.
“I have orders from the Islamabad High Court about my daughter’s regularisation but FDE is not complying and not even paying heed to contempt of court orders,” he said.
Khawaja assured them that their demands will be met and their salaries will be released.
“I have to understand the issue holistically before taking it up with the minister of Capital Administration and Development Division,” the DG said. The DG addressed the protesters outside his office and assured them the government has decided to resolve the issue through a committee headed by a Supreme Court judge.
The protesters vowed to wait for a day and will assemble outside the directorate if their demands were not met.
Rab Nawaz, who has been serving at Islamabad Model College for Boys F-11/3 for the last eight years, was among the protesting teachers and is still waiting for the notification of his regularisation.
Over 1,800 staffers were regularised by a special cabinet body, headed by MNA Kursheed Shah in the last PPP government. Of them, 844 were issued regularisation letters but a large number of daily wagers are still waiting.
Ambreen Shahid, a PhD candidate at Islamic university and a teacher at Islamabad Model College for Girls Kot Hathial in Bhara Kahu failed to hold back her tears.
The protesters blamed CADD for dragging its feet on the issue. Teachers from Bhara Kahu and Nilore, already pressed under inflation and the economic crunch, have not been paid salaries for the last three to six months despite regularly attending their institutes because of a wrangling between the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) and the CADD officials.
The AGPR has objected to the release of funds for the payment of salaries to FDE staffers while CADD has failed to resolve the issue for the last two years.
Successive secretaries at CADD have been dealing with day to day affairs and avoid resolving the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2014.