PAT issues white paper on condition of teachers & education department in Punjab

The central media cell of Pakistan Awami Tehreek has issued a white paper on the miserable condition of educational department and teachers on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day. The paper said that 700 primary schools are deprived of clean drinking water, 3000 schools of boundary wall, 7000 schools of electricity and 1200 schools of toilets, whereas the more than 10,000 positions of science teachers are lying vacant for last seven years. The national resources were spent on politically driven projects such as solar panels instead of spending it on welfare of the teachers. The teaching community was robbed of their constitutional right of peaceful protest. They are being subjected to humiliation and disgrace for last seven years.

The white paper said that no official ceremony was held on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day, which is a glaring proof of the Punjab government’s discriminatory attitude. The education department in Punjab is being run on ad hoc basis which is evident from the fact that there is no minister of the department for last seven years.

PAT Punjab President Basharat Jaspal, General Secretary Mushtaq Nonari Advocate and Secretary Information Noorullah Siddiqui issue the white paper after a meeting at the central secretariat. MWL President Mrs. Farah Naz, MSM President Irfan Yousaf, and MYL President Mazhar Alvi were also present in the meeting.

The white paper said that Punjab is the only province in which teachers have been deprived of their legal right to avail themselves of 25 contingency leaves. The teachers took to streets seven times in the last eight years for acceptance of their demands. They have been maltreated like the kiln workers. They were transferred to far-off places and made to retire under compulsion. Police was used to torture the teachers and register cases against them. It is the outcome of step-motherly treatment being shown by the Punjab government towards teachers that the Millennium Development Goal of taking literacy and enrolment level to 100% fell by wayside, which reflects the biggest failure of the Shahbaz government on governance.

The white paper said that there are housing societies of all departments in Punjab but the teachers, who are builders of the nation, do not have any such facility. The Punjab government set up a parallel educational system through establishment of Danish schools. There is a huge gap between the pay and perks and other facilities of teachers of educational department and Danish schools, which has created a feeling of deprivation among the teachers. Despite being a failure to take off, the billions of rupees are being spent on the Danish schools.

The paper further said that Rs. 350 million have been earmarked for repair and decoration of the boundary wall of the personal residence of the Prime Minister in Jati Umra, an amount which can be used to construct a boundary wall of 1000 schools in Punjab that face terrorism threat. The teachers have been posted in schools located as far away as 30 kilometers from their residences with no transport facility being there. Their promotions and increments are withheld if they happen to reach schools late.

The white paper said that teachers are part and parcel of every national campaign. The government, considering them to be surplus staff, deputes them to carry out physically demanding jobs. Whether it is electoral duties, census or any other work, the teachers are made to work like animals, which is against the status of a teacher.

The PAT has demanded of the government to lift ban on the teachers on their participation in peaceful demonstrations to press for their fair demands. Their right to emergency leaves according to departmental laws should be accepted. Their service structure and grades should be revised. Housing societies for teachers at the district levels should be established. The representatives of the teaching community should be included in the policy making process and the Punjab Chief Minister should stop his step-brotherly treatment towards teachers. The government should provide transport facility to the teachers to ensure their punctuality and they should be give interest-free loans to build their houses.