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Saturday November 27, 2021

11,000 educators in Punjab waiting for regularisation

June 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The fate of 11,000 educators in Punjab is in limbo as they are waiting for their contracts to be regularised for the last six years but the provincial government has linked their regularization with the clearance of PPSC exam.

There are almost 11,000 secondary school teachers (BPS-16) who have been appointed throughout Punjab from 2014 onward. However, despite serving six longs years as educator they are still working on contract basis.

The teachers’ representative bodies throughout the Punjab province have been protesting time and again since the provincial government announced the condition of clearing the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) exam and demanding the government to regularize them as they already fulfill the criteria. The Punjab government has assured the teachers’ bodies to resolve the issue but nothing has been done in this regard.

The previous government had regularized the Secondary School Teachers (SSTs) who were appointed prior to 2012. The then Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif issued an executive order on August 07, 2015 for their regularization. It is pertinent to mention here that the policy of clearing the PPSC exam for regularization was introduced in 2013 but it was set aside by the then CM through this executive order.

The present government issued a letter on March 01, 2019 to all the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of district education authority in Punjab regarding the regularization of educators under Punjab Regularization of Service Act. According to this letter, “In continuation of this department letter of even No. dated 07-01-2019 and 19-01-2019 on the subject cited above. I am directed to request you to furnish working papers of eligible SSEs (those who have completed 04 years of service up to 30-04-2018) for regularization, so that the same may be submitted to Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) for assessing their suitability for regularization and recommendations on the format as under….”

“We are serving as SST since last six years but the government hasn’t regularized us. It was clearly mentioned in our letter of agreement that we will be regularized without any test or interview after completing five years of service. We passed the NTS test and then appeared for interview after which we were selected as an educator. However the present government wants to send us home through this unjustified condition”, commented members of core committee secondary school educators Khurshid Hassan, Liaqat Ali and Mohammad Sohail.

“We will stage a sit-in in front of Punjab Assembly if the government continues these delaying tactics. We held several meetings with the provincial education minister who assured us that this issue will be resolved and all the educators will be regularized who were appointed in 2014 onwards. But his promise hasn’t been materialized yet. We left our previous jobs and serving in the education department since last six years. Now when we are unable to find a job in any other profession as we have exceeded the age limit, the government is putting our careers at risk”, commented the members of the committee.

Punjab’s Education Minister Dr Murad Raas has given assurance to the teachers that their issue will be resolved soon. However, his promise is yet to be materialised. On April 05, 2020 he tweeted, “Let me assure you that the decision of the stated issue will be in your favour. Offices are shut down. We are dealing with preventing people from dying right now. I am shocked that saving lives and feeding the hungry should be a priority or regularization”.

He tweeted again on April 25, “The contracts of SSEs and AEOs have been extended for one more year. I know this is not the solution. All of you want to be regularized. Due to the Corona crisis right now, we had to take this decision. Will be resolving this issue for good once things settle down”

Talking to The News Dr Murad Raas said he is aware of this issue and working on it. This issue will be forwarded to the provincial cabinet.

“Within next two weeks we will formulate a policy on this issue which will be sent to the cabinet. The provincial cabinet will take the final decision on the matter. Nothing is being done on policy level since last three months due to coronavirus. The members of our ministry’s staff have lost their lives and some officials have tested COVID-19 positive due to which they are unable to perform their duties properly. I am unable to understand why are they so desperate. Their contracts have already been extended. They are getting salaries regularly then what’s the hurry? Their issue will be resolved soon”, commented Dr Murad Raas.