Zombie seniority: List includes names of deceased, retired teachers

Published: December 5, 2014
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Punjab Colleges promotion list for assistant professors contains numerous errors. STOCK IMAGE

Punjab Colleges promotion list for assistant professors contains numerous errors. STOCK IMAGE

RAWALPINDI: It would seem that even death is not a barrier for career advancement in the Punjab education system.

A seniority list of assistant professors notified by the Punjab Colleges Directorate of Public Instructions (DPI) is replete with errors and omissions as the names of retired and even deceased teachers have also been included in the list.

The final seniority list for promoting assistant professors to Grade-19 has been prepared after a “long process of scrutiny”, but it seems the DPI did not bother to check if the people on the list were still working, or even breathing.

According to the new Punjab education department policy, the seniority list is updated every summer and this year’s final list was issued on October 31.

According to the list, available with The Express Tribune, Anwar Mustafa of Government MD College Toba Tek Singh, who died three years back, is eligible for promotion. Similarly, Naseem Tahir of the same college, who retired last year, has also made the list.

Govt MD College Toba Tek Singh junior clerk Muhammad Tahir confirmed that Mustafa died three years ago and Tahir retired last year.

After the blunders came to light, all college directors were ordered to verify and furnish authenticated particulars of associate professors within 15 days so that their complete particulars can be entered in the seniority list.

Ghulam Murtaza, a lecturer at Government Postgraduate Asghar Mall College, Rawalpindi and the Teachers Unity Forum Pakistan Rawalpindi division president told The Express Tribune that this was an old tactic of the DPI department to slow down the promotion process.

Another professor, who requested not to be named, felt more anomalies would pop up in the list “in due time”.

He said that he had submitted all his documents four or five times for verification, but despite that, the DPI issued a list replete with errors and blunders.

He claimed that when he took up the issue with a DPI official, the official bluntly said that the department will invariably issue another list full of errors before consulting professors to address the errors.

“The DPI is the most obstructive and problem-creating section of the education department. We are asked to move our complaints through proper channels, but how can the DPI take up our complaints when it is the source of our problems,” he said.

DPI Establishment (Male) Deputy Secretary Muhammad Arshad said that the DPI issues the list every year and sometimes people die or retire while the list is being finalised.

“Otherwise, there is no possibility of any such mistake,” he claimed, promising to rectify any errors in the list.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2014.

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