May 16, 2016Print : Lahore
The government schoolteachers who had been staging a demonstration against the Punjab government from Saturday afternoon ended their protest on Sunday evening following assurances from the Punjab School Education minister.
The teachers had been observing a sit-in on The Mall near the Punjab Assembly demanding the government to stop privatising the public schools in the name of quality education.
Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) had given the call for the demo in which a large number of teachers both male and female participated for two days to record their concerns over handing over of schools to private sector and NGOs and problems being faced by them because of the Schools Department’s policies including delay in upgrading of teachers.
Punjab School Education Minister Rana Mashhood talking to The News said he had personally talked to teachers and assured that their jobs would be secured in the process of involving private sector to improve public schools following which they called off their demo. He said the government was aware of teachers’ genuine concerns and was always ready to address the same. He categorically said the government had no plan to offer golden handshake to teachers of the schools being handed over under the Public Schools Support Programme (PSSP). “The teachers of such schools will not lose their jobs”, he added.
PTU President Sajjad Akbar Kazmi said the minister had called him on phone following which a meeting of PTU office-bearers and Schools Department’s representatives was held. He said most of the demands had been accepted therefore the PTU ended its protest.
PML-Q: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders have said their party supports the protesting teachers and said alleged that due to defective educational policies of Shahbaz Sharif, teachers and poor students are suffering from mental torture. The government is closing running schools whereas Ch Pervaiz Elahi had reopened closed schools in his government in Punjab, established new schools, upgraded educational institutions and provided maximum possible facilities and incentives to the teachers and students.
These views were expressed by a PML-Q delegation headed by Lahore PML-Q Organiser and former MNA Mian Muhammad Munir and Women Wing organiser and former MPA Amna Ulfat while showing solidarity with the teachers. Mian Munir and Amna Ulfat said teachers protest against the system of distribution of schools among the favoured ones. They alleged that Shahbaz Sharif has closed down thousands of schools. He should instead of snatching away schools from children provide maximum better facilities to the poor students.