Lecturers from FATA out for regularisation, salaries | Pakistan Today

Lecturers from FATA out for regularisation, salaries

Education has been an effective tool to deal with the menace of terrorism, yet it remains the most-neglected subject in the militancy-plagued Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
A survey conducted recently by the FATA Secretariat and Bureau of Statistics reveals that at least 44.2 per cent children in the country’s tribal belt have never been enrolled in schools, while the overall literacy rate remains 33.3 per cent and female literacy rate 7.8 per cent.
Despite these starling figures, the ad-hoc lecturers, who have long been serving in the militancy-ravaged tribal region on a deputation basis, have been forced to hold a protest demonstration in Peshawar for regularisation of their jobs.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Muhammad Ijaz, one of the protesting teachers, said they had been protesting for a long time but no one was ready to listen to their genuine demands. He complained that the people of FATA were being treated as aliens.
Ijaz further said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak along with his special assistant for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani and provincial minister Shah Farman visited their protest camp on Thursday and promised their services would be regularised within a week.
“However, we refused to end our protest camp until the issuance of a notification about regularisation of our jobs, as the KP government has made such promises in the past but never honoured them,” the protesting lecturer went on to say.
Hazrat Wali, another senior lecturer, told this scribe that they had little trust in the government, as a committee, made under Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, earlier by the provincial government failed to take care of the matter. “We were therefore left with no option but to boycott classes to press for our demands,” he said as he complained no one was paying heed to their problem.
The PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is giving great importance to the subject of education, but it is quite unfortunate that the lecturers from the tribal belt have not yet been regularised.
“We would stage a sit-in in front of the KP Assembly if our genuine demands are not accepted,” added Wali.
The protesting teachers said the provincial assembly had passed a bill to regularise their services on May 12, 2014, but the 215 lecturers serving in FATA on deputation had been ignored. The protesters also deplored the fact that although they had been working in a challenging environment, they had not been paid salaries since October last year. They demanded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to take notice of the issue and issue orders for regularising their services.

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