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Peshawar

April 17, 2018

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Teachers protest policy of conditional timescale

PESHAWAR: Rejecting the conditional timescale policy, the teachers on Monday vowed to continue the protest till the government accepted their demand of inclusion of timescale with existing service structure.

The teachers gathered outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly building and staged the protest. They said their demand, performance based timescale for all cadres with existing service structure and revised four-tier formula, had been previously approved by the Education Department.

The protesters said that the school-based policy was not part of the agreement that had been reached between the teachers and Education Department.Talking to The News, Muhammad Nisar, former Tanzim-e-Isatiza district Charsadda president, said the government had agreed to their demands in the act. However, he said, the final draft was completely different from the one that was mutually drafted by the both parties.

He said teachers’ representatives had held meetings with members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to inform them of the reservation of the teachers. The representative said the teachers had told the government functionaries that the Awami National Party-led previous government service structure was the best policy for the promotion of education. He added that the timescale should have been included in ANP’s policy.

He said every day teachers of two districts would stage protest outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.Senior Subject Specialist Salar Islam Tariq said teachers had been made responsible for 85 percent attendance of students while the teachers were required to ensure 90 percent attendance.

“Most of the students were from poor economic background who could not attend schools regularly and teachers cannot play any role in their attendance,” he remarked.

He alleged that the government had been planning privatization of the education gradually. “Adam Smith International has hijacked the education policy of the government,” he alleged. Salar Islam Tariq added the incumbent government was bent on implementing western policies.

He said the government should have assessed the teachers and improved their capacity if they had any problems, adding that implementing an ‘imported policy’ that had no relevance to local culture and mindset would not bear any fruit.

“The government should have focused on primary level for five to 10 years and included higher classes gradually,” he said, adding it would have improved the education. Other speakers, including All Teachers Grand Alliance Chairman Samiullah Khalil, Vice-chairman Muzamil Khan Tarnabi, President Islamuddin also spoke on the occasion.

The speakers alleged that privatization of the education sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the World Bank’s agenda, vowing that teachers would continue efforts for rights and protection of the education sector.

The protesters were chanting slogans of “Go Imran Go” and “Go Pervez Go”. They challenged the government for a public debate on television so that the nation knows both parties’ point of view and intentions.

One of the speakers also criticized members of KP Assembly who had visited their protest camp to express solidarity with teachers. “What role they had played when the bill was being presented to their committee?” he questioned.

He said that teachers would not only make the PTI accountable but their coalition partners would also face consequences. Another speaker, Aslam Khan, said: “On what moral ground the PTI leadership is criticizing others when their own party chief receives salary while not attending the parliament sessions,” he maintained.

The protesters vowed to shut all institutions till acceptance of their demands. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Member Provincial Assembly Mufti Fazl Ghafoor, Pakistan People’s Party Nighat Orakzai and Jamaat-e-Islami Inayatullah also addressed the protesters.

Meanwhile, a group of the employees of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education also reached the teachers’ protest camp after staging protest at the Sports Complex in Mardan where Imran Khan had addressed a public gathering.

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