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January 28, 2020

Teachers protest against privatisation of colleges

Islamabad

January 28, 2020

Rawalpindi : Hundreds of professors and lecturers (males and females) of government colleges came out on roads in a rally and protested against the decision to hand over all government colleges in Punjab province to a private entity. The rally which was organised by the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) started from Government Gordon College to Rawalpindi Press Club (RPC) on Monday.

The protesters carried banners and placards in their hands raising slogans against government.

Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) have announced another protest demonstration in front of Rawalpindi Press Club on next Monday February 3. Professors and lecturers from whole province will participate in the demonstration.

The protesters announced a sit-in (dharna) in front of Punjab Assembly on February 10, till acceptance of their demands.

On the occasion, PPLA Senior Executive Member Chaudhry Ghulam Murtaza said that over 5,000 seats of lecturers and professors are vacant in all government colleges since 2017, but nobody is taking interest to fill up the vacant posts. Government has decided to hand over the colleges in Punjab to a private entity but we will resist strongly against it, he said.

He said that on April 1, 2019 when our ‘dharna’ entered in 8th day in front of Punjab Assembly, Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasar Humayun Sarfraz made a written agreement with (PPLA) to provide us pay protection including promotions and all other benefits and assured that all colleges will remain in government entity rather private entity. But, Minister for Higher Education did not honor on his words, he denounced. How we could trust PTI government in this situation, he said.

The other speakers in their speeches said that promotion cases are yet pending for three years but government is not taking interest in this matter. PTI Chief Imran Khan promised to provide 1-crore jobs but it seems this government came in power to snatch jobs rather to provide, they said. The future of thousands of students is also at stake due to government wrong policies, they denounced.

PPLA has also decided to bring students on roads as well to stage protest demonstrations because students will too affect severely. The students will pay unaffordable increase in fee after handing all government colleges to a private entity.

Professors and lecturers boycotted classes of all government colleges including Government Asghar Mall College, Government Mohan Pura College for Women, Government Hashmat Ali Islamia College for Boys, Government Degree College for Women Dhok Kala Khan, Government College for Women Gujar Khan and Government Degree College Doltala on Monday.

The provincial education department had issued a circular about handing over all government colleges to a private entity, under a public-private partnership arrangement.

The move has sent a wave of fear and panic among the professors and lecturers, who said that the provincial government, through the privatisation of colleges, was shirking its responsibility to fix the broken education system.

The students and parents have appealed the government to turn back decision in the best interest of public. Annual exams are on their heads but professors and lecturers have started boycott of classes. The government should think about it, they said.