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April 16, 2018

Bill to regularise schoolteachers to be reviewed today


April 16, 2018

The Sindh Cabinet will meet on Monday (today) to reconsider the bill to regularise the services of over 20,000 government schoolteachers appointed on contractual basis several years ago. The proposed law was passed by the provincial assembly in February, but the governor returned it without his assent.

The Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis Bill 2018 is the fifth proposed law passed by the provincial legislature in its previous session to be rejected by Governor Mohammad Zubair.

The Cabinet will review the bill in the light of the governor’s observations on the proposed law. Zubair essentially objected to the bill’s provision that empowers the provincial government to transfer contractual teachers from their basic area or school of appointment after completing a certain time of service.

The governor is of the view that the transfer of such teachers to other schools will violate the basic purpose for which these appointments have been made, which is to overcome the acute shortage of schoolteachers wherever it exists in the province.

The summary containing Governor Zubair’s observations on the proposed law was sent to the Sindh government as well as the provincial assembly’s secretariat. It states: “Having been presented for assent the Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis Bill 2018, I, Mohammad Zubair, Governor Sindh, in exercise of the powers under Article 116(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, do hereby return the bill to the Provincial Assembly of Sindh for reconsideration with the following observations:

“Contractual appointments of teachers under the Teacher Recruitment Policy (2008/2012) were made to address the issue of non-availability of teachers at union councils / taluka levels. These appointments were thus made area specific.

“The passage of this bill categorically kills the spirit of this policy, which was meant to revive the teacher-deprived schools of the far-flung areas of Sindh. “In view of the foregoing, I advise the Provincial Assembly of Sindh to revisit the proviso in the subject bill and ensure that upon regularisation, the teachers may not be transferred from their initial places of appointments until the position on which they are working exists, or only upon until their promotion to the next higher scale if there is non-availability of that scale position in that area.”

It should be mentioned here that Section 3(1) of the bill in question states: “Provided further that the services of a teacher shall not be regularised unless he has completed or completes three years of his contract period and who does not possess the qualification prescribed for the post and his performance is not satisfactory.”

It also states: “Provided also that teachers whose services are regularised under this act shall not be transferred from the schools for which they were appointed before the expiry of a period of five years in the case of male and three years in the case of female teachers.”

The Sindh Assembly had unanimously adopted the bill to regularise the services of thousands of contractual schoolteachers after a prolonged campaign by their representative associations in Karachi as well as in other parts of the province.  

The other rejected bills

The other four bills that were passed by the provincial legislature in its previous session and that were subsequently rejected by the governor are the Sindh Universities & Institutes Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018; the University of Modern Sciences Bill, Tando Mohammad Khan Bill 2017; the Government College University Hyderabad Bill 2018 and the Sohail University Bill 2017.

Out of these four proposed laws, the Sindh Assembly on Friday reviewed the universities & institutes laws (amendment) bill and passed it for the second time while rejecting all the observations and objections of the governor. The reconsideration of the remaining three bills is included in the agenda of the sitting of the provincial legislature to be held at 3pm on Monday.

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