ISLAMABAD: The protesting Basic Education and Community Schools (BECS) teachers on Thursday agreed to call off their sit-in at D-Chowk on a written assurance that no teacher would be removed arbitrarily and the payment of dues would be expedited, besides considering them for regularisation.
The representatives of the BECS teachers had been staging a protest camp at D-Chowk for 11 days to press for their demands. However, they decided to call off their protest following successful negotiations with officials of the Federal Education Ministry led by Federal Secretary Arshad Mirza.
The meeting was held on the instructions of Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood.
During negotiations, the leadership of the protesting BECS teachers was given a written assurance that no teacher will be removed arbitrarily, the ministry will expedite the payment of their dues and BECS teachers will be considered for regularisation.
The agreement reads, “Reference meeting with Secretary in Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training in the presence of district administration and the leadership of protesting BECS teachers, a written assurance is being convened to BECS teachers that no teacher will be removed arbitrarily, ministry will expedite payment of dues and BECS teachers will be considered for regularisation. The whole process shall be exceeded one calendar year.”
The secretary has resolved the matter and decided, in presence of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, that the protest may be called off on the written assurance vide letter No. 2-113/2018-19/Dev (F&P) dated 13-12-2018. Furthermore, representatives of the protesters who attended the meeting promised to immediately call off Dharna/protest in ICT in view of the letter given to them.
Shafqat Mehmood had told the parliament on Wednesday that his ministry was making efforts to resolve the issues of the protesting teachers.
BECS system, now owned by the federal ministry of education was initiated in 1995 as a project to provide informal education to the students living in communities where the government had not established regular schools.
Under the project, around 682,000 students are getting an education where 12,480 teachers from the communities are registered by the government as community teachers. The project initiated with the collaboration of Norwegian government and was run with the donation fund awarded by the government of Norway till 2003. After 2003 the project was run with the support of National Education Foundation (NEF) till 2007.
It is pertinent to mention here that teachers of BECS are being given Rs8000 monthly salary which is also due from the month of March.