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October 6, 2015

‘7,000 primary schools in Punjab without electricity’


October 6, 2015

On the occasion of International Day of teachers, Central Media Cell of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has released a white paper on ‘pathetic’ condition of teachers in Punjab and ‘poor’ condition of educational institutes apart from the mismanagement and corruption that prevails in the Education Department and the alleged step-motherly attitude of the rulers towards the Punjab teachers.
According to the white paper, seven thousand primary schools are deprived of electricity, three thousand of boundary walls, twelve hundred of toilets and seven hundred of clean drinking water. Ten thousand seats have been vacant there for the last seven years. Government has spent national wealth on political advertising campaigns like solar panels instead of improving the teacher’s welfare.
They have taken away the constitutional right of peaceful protest from teachers and have been continuously humiliating them for the last seven years. No official ceremony has been held in Punjab on the Teacher’s Day which is clear evidence of discrimination. Education ministry is being run on ad hoc basis and no permanent minister has been posted.
This white paper was released at a meeting of the PAT Research Cell by Bashara Jaspal, Punjab PTI president, Mushtaq Noorani, general-secretary and information-secretary Noor-Ullah Sadiqui.
The white paper said that Punjab is the only province where teachers do not have the constitutional right to protest and teachers are deprived of 25 annual holidays. Teachers are being treated like brick-kiln workers.
In seven years, the teachers came out on streets eight times to protest for their rights, but the irony of the fact is that instead of giving them their rights, they were booked in false cases and subjected to violence by the police which acts like a watchdog of the Punjab government.
The paper said they are either transferred to far-flange areas or forcibly retired. The paper said that this step-motherly

attitude of the Punjab government towards the teachers is the main reason for low literacy rate in the province and the Millennium goal of achieving 100 per cent enrolment in schools could not be met.
The papers further said that in every province teachers are provided with official residence and have housing scheme, but in Punjab no such thing exists. It said that a parallel education system has been imposed in Punjab. The paper said that there is hell of a difference between the pay and privileges being given to teachers of the Danish Schools and the teachers of the rest of the province. This has created a scene of deprivation among the teachers of the province. It said despite the complete failure of the Danish Schools billions of rupees have been approved for this project.
The leaders said Rs 35 crore, the amount spent on the renovation of the boundary wall of the residence of the Punjab CM’s Jatti Umra residence, would have been enough to make new boundary walls of over 1,000 schools in the province which have risks of being a targeted by terrorists. They said teachers are posted 30 to 40 miles away from their houses and a few minutes delay becomes a reason of stopping their annual increment.
The PAT white papers demanded that all the cases filed against teachers during their protests should be withdrawn immediately and all restriction imposed on them must also be withdrawn. PAT demanded that the demand for annual leaves should be accepted and their pay structure should be reviewed. Housing societies be established for the teachers and the education department must include teachers representatives when framing policies for the teachers. PAT also demanded transport facilities for the teachers so that they can reach schools and colleges on time and they should also be given interest-free loans to build houses. -Online

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