‘Illegal appointments’: College employees protest against higher education dept

Around 151 administrative staff members say they are being made to sit for re-evaluation test.


Our Correspondent February 02, 2015
More than a hundred assistants and lab assistants gathered outside the higher education department on Monday in protest and shouted slogans against its officials. STOCK IMAGE

PESHAWAR:


Administrative employees of various colleges have not taken lightly to the higher education department’s decision to conduct a re-evaluation test for them.


More than a hundred assistants and lab assistants gathered outside the higher education department on Monday in protest and shouted slogans against its officials.

Arshad Iqbal, an employee of Government Degree College Pabbi who was leading the protest, told The Express Tribune 151 lab assistants were appointed across the province in December 2012 through the proper channel.

According to Iqbal, a petition was submitted in the Peshawar High Court on September 19, 2013 claiming the assistants’ appointment was illegal and based on favouritism. On October 25 the same year, the high court instructed the higher education department to terminate the services of these 151 employees.

However, the administrative employees challenged the decision in the Supreme Court in April 2014. “The apex court ordered the reinstatement of all officials to their positions and instructed the relevant authorities to conduct an enquiry into the 151 employees’ appointment within six months,” said Iqbal.

He added in August 2014 all of them were reinstated and their salaries were restored.

The protest leader further claimed the higher education department issued a notification on January 26 and instructed all 151 employees to be at Government College Peshawar on February 1.

“When we got there, the department officials ordered us to sit for a written evaluation test on the spot,” said Iqbal, adding they boycotted the exam.

Nosheen, a lab assistant in a Malakand college, said they were appointed through the proper channel in accordance with the rules, claiming the department was bothering them for no reason.

“We left behind our work to come here and now the authorities are wasting our time. If the Supreme Court has resolved the matter why is the higher education department intervening,” she questioned.

The protesting government employees demanded the decision to take the evaluation test be retracted and they be allowed to return back to their jobs.

When contacted, Higher Education Director Noorullah Wazir said no such notification had been issued by his department. According to Wazir, the notification could have been issued from the CM Secretariat or higher education secretary.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2015.

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