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September 23, 2016

Teachers’ involvement in vaccination not welcomed

Islamabad

 
September 23, 2016

Islamabad

The government’s plan to engage teachers of Islamabad Capital Territory schools and colleges for the upcoming anti-polio campaign hasn’t augured well with the Federal Government Teachers Association, which strongly feels the move will have a negative bearing on the cause of education.

It demanded the immediate withdrawn of the plan to the benefit of students.

“First, Article 25A of the Constitution binds the state to provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 5-16 years and second, the law forbids all non-academic work by teachers except election, census and disaster-related duties. Ironically, the government is forcing teachers into vaccinating children at gunpoint and thus, compromising the cause of education,” FGTA vice-president Malik Khizar Rehman told ‘The News’ on Thursday.

The FGTA leader urged the government to immediately cancel the plan to task teachers with carrying out anti-polio duties in the upcoming five days vaccination campaign slated to begin on Sept 26.

He said at a time when the ICT schools and colleges had an acute shortage of teaching staff, giving their teachers the vaccination task was unjustified as it would adversely affect academic activities at their respective educational institutions.

Malik Khizar said tasking teachers with vaccinating children was tantamount to locking schools and that health officials and workers should be engaged for the purpose.

“It is the constitutional right of the children to have uninterrupted access to education and therefore, the government should ensure the presence of all teachers on campus during all working days,” he said.