- Teachers in Punjab observe ‘World Teachers Day’ as black day
- Say Sharif brothers have always adopted policies to discourage education
When the whole world celebrated the ‘World Teachers Day’ that is marked on October 5 every year, the school teachers of Punjab observed this day as a ‘Black Day’ against what they called ‘Anti-Teacher and Anti-Education’ policies. The school teachers of whole the province gave their lectures in schools by wearing black arm bands to give a strong message to the government. The teacher’s community has been protesting against the policies of the Punjab government since 2015 and also staged several protest demonstrations and sit-ins in Lahore but there issues are still unresolved.
“We were expecting that the Punjab government will announce the up gradation of teacher’s pay scale on the eve of World Teachers Day but nothing was announced by the government on the day that is marked to pay homage to teachers,” an IT teacher and General Secretary of Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) Kashif Shahzad Chauhdry said, while taking to Pakistan Today. He further added that a clerk of School Education Department is getting the Basic Pay Scale (BPS) of 17 and he holds just a degree of matriculation or intermediate while there are thousands of teachers in the province working in BPS 9 despite the fact that they hold a degree of Mphil. He was of the view that a meeting was held on Wednesday in which the protest plan was finalized against the anti-teacher policies of the government. According to him, there are only two demands by the teachers; the up gradation of pay scales and the abolition of Punjab Education Foundation (PEF). “The government has handed over some 3000 schools to the PEF and the future of teachers is at stake as privatization of more schools is also on the cards of the government,” he said. There are more than 30,000 primary schools in the province being run with only one teacher and how can teachers produce good results in such a scenario, he questioned.
The chairman of Mutahida Mahaz Asataza, an amalgamation of all the teachers union of the Punjab, Tariq Mehmood said that billions of rupees are being spent on the Danish school authority by ignoring the already existing schools. “A hefty amount of Rs 1.2 billion is required to establish a Danish School. It is better that this amount be used to provide the missing facilities in already existed schools and for the uplift of teachers,” he said. He further added that ‘Salam Teachers Day’ used to be organized by the government every year to pay rich tribute to the services of teachers but this idea has now been discarded since last few years.
Moreover, the minister for School Education Department Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan lauded the services of teachers and said that the enrollment of students in schools has been exceeded from 8 million to 12 million just because of the efforts of teachers. “As many as 150,000 teachers have been recruited and the Punjab government is planning to recruit 70,000 more teachers in the school education department as there will be a high school in every union council of the province,” the minister said.