Teaching a lesson to teachers
Teaching a lesson?
Karachi, May 29: In Karachi, the police have once again held true to their tradition of
meting out the most brutal force to peaceful demonstrators. Teachers
who were marching towards the Governor's House to present the governor
with a memorandum for teacher-friendly policies, and for the
implementation of pay raises already enforced in other parts of the
country, were met with teargas and water cannons. Arrests were made and
some of the teachers (including women) who represent professional
associations from across Sindh were manhandled and subjected to abusive
language. Our country's police have often used similar force against
peaceful protesters who have included journalists, lawyers and other
citizens demonstrating for their rights. In no way did these protesters
represent a threat to order. It sometimes appears that, frustrated by
their inability to tackle terrorism or combat crime, the police turn
their wrath on unarmed people who are unable to defend themselves.
the arrested teachers have been released, this is not enough. The Sindh
government needs to investigate the matter and initiate action against
police officers who ordered the use of brute force. The right of people
to assemble and peacefully draw attention to their grievances is one of
the most fundamental ones. It must be protected. A government failing
to do so has no right to call itself democratic. The issues highlighted
by the teachers who have announced a black day and hunger strike must
be addressed. Teachers form a vital part of the education system. We
cannot hope to improve it unless their lives are improved. At present,
particularly in the government sector, the salaries they draw are
abysmal, their working conditions are tough and, as a consequence,
their motivation is low. More incentives and encouragement are needed.
Their standing as professionals, their respect and dignity must be
recognised. What we also need is more training for the police.
Everywhere in the world one of their tasks is to regulate peaceful
rallies that take place everywhere. Our police must be sensitised about
the need to avoid turning their batons on citizens or treating those
who march peacefully in the same manner as a frenzied mob. This is
crucial to their relations with citizens and the building of trust that
is indeed essential to tackling crime in major cities. Scenes of the
kind witnessed in Karachi, as teachers fell to the ground or scrambled
for cover, are one reason why this cooperation has not evolved and why
there is so much hatred for a police force whose main objective should
be to protect people from harm. The news
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Teachers continue hunger strike
Karachi: The hunger strike by
primary schoolteachers of Sindh to demand timescale and teaching
allowance continued at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) Friday.
All Sindh Primary Teachers Association (ASPTA) has 23 different
districts and one member from each district has decided to take part in
the hunger strike.
Whereas, members of Sindh Professors and
Lecturers Association, Mehran Teachers Association and Government
Secondary Teachers Association were also seen at the KPC for some part
of the day.
One day after primary, secondary and college
teachers were thrashed by police near the Governor's House, Sindh
Assembly Opposition Leader Jam Madad Ali Khan along with four MPAs met
the the protesting teachers at the KPC and reassured them that their
demands would be put forward to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah
Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister Sharmila Farooqui also
visited the teachers and assured them that the issue would soon be
Primary Teachers Association
(PTA) Deputy Secretary District Karachi Amin Khorejo said, "If our
demands are not met, we shall continue our hunger strike until we die.
We plan to stage a sit-in at the President's House on June 3, and at
the Sindh Assembly on June 8, when the annual budget for Sindh would be
Commenting on the Senior Education and Literacy
Minister Pir Mazharul Haq's statement on how such protests by teachers
could affect the studies of 400,000 children of Sindh, ASPTA Jacobabad
wing member Nisar Ahmed Odho said, "It is our own children who study at
government schools in rural areas of Sindh and not the minister's. We
care about our students more than anybody else. Maybe somebody should
check the corrupt behaviour of the executive district officers in rural
areas who transfer teachers and appoint headmasters when they are
offered bribes or when they receive phone calls form higher-ups." Daily times
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Sindh edu minister lashes out at teachers' bodies
Karachi: Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq has lashed out at
the teachers' associations who are exploiting the teachers to remain
away from the educational institutions in the province.
of teachers are ghost in Sindh who do not go to teach children, however
the Education Department has directed the DCOs/District Administrators
to submit a list of the ghost teachers in their districts concerned so
that action could be initiated against them.
Replying to a point
of order raised by Opposition leader and PML-F Parliamentary leader Jam
Madad Ali Khan in Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, the Education Minister
said that the teachers' associations misguiding the teachers in Sindh.
Opposition leader said it had been reported that the government was
planning cancellation of the contracts of lower grades employees, who
joined the education department in 2007. He also urged the government
to not cancel their contract as it was not the policy of the PPP
government to snatch employment from the people.
issue, jam Madad Ali said that teachers in Sindh were protesting to get
resolve their problems, adding that the teachers of Sindh were not
receiving teaching allowance, while same facility was being given to
their colleagues in other three provinces. He also sought that the
government should resolve the problems of teachers on priority basis.
Minster Pir Mazharul Haq said that the previous government while
ignoring the relevant rules had made contractual appointments in the
education department on political basis. But the present government
would consider not to terminate the services of lower grades employees
on humanitarian grounds, adding that however the Sindh Chief Minster
will take a final decision in this regard.
Referring to the demand
regarding teaching allowance for teachers, the minster said that the
chief minister had formed a committee led by him with a task to
formulate a formula for teaching allowance. The committee which
comprising Provincial Secretaries of the Finance and the Education
departments and representatives of the teachers' associations, had
unanimously agreed to adopt 'teaching allowance' being given to the
teachers in Balochistan.
However, a summary carrying recommendations has been submitted to the
Sindh CM which was still under consideration as huge financial
implication on Sindh exchequer is the reason of a delay in approval of
summary, he added.
He criticized the role of the teachers'
associations, saying that they were provoking the teachers against
government. Despite the fact that a summary, in this regard is still
under consideration, some leaders of the teachers' body are misguiding
the teaching community that their proposal has been rejected.
contrary to the previous regime which banned the teachers' unions in
Sindh and sent the teachers on forced leave, the present government was
striving to provide all facilities to teachers, besides lifting a ban
from forced leave. But teachers doing enmity with the education of
Sindh, he claimed.
He said that after devolution plan, the schools
were under the administrative control of local governments/districts,
where 50 percent were already ghost teachers and did not go teach
children, while remaining on strike.
He informed the house that
the education department had asked the DCOs, who were also district
administrators to send a list of the ghost teachers. The Provincial
Department will write to the Chief Secretary and district governments
as presently education department has no powers to take action against
He said that district governments were authorized to recruit and terminate the services of the school teachers from grade 1-15.
Opposition leader Jam Madad pointed out that lots of junior officers
were working on senior posts in education department creating sense of
deprivation among the senior teachers.
However, the senior
minister agreed with the point raised by the Opposition leader and said
that the Education Department had formulated a policy, under which
posting of junior officers on senior posts and on OPS had been banned.
But, he said, that implementation was the duty of the district
governments, if they did not follow the policy, the provincial
education department will approach the Chief Minister and Chief
Secretary to implement the policy. The nation
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Sindh Assembly session: Opp stages walkout over teachers' issue
Karachi: The opposition members in the
Sindh Assembly staged a walkout from the House on Friday to protest
against the police action on teachers on Thursday outside the
Governor's House and the delay in acceptance of their demands by the
Senior Education Minister Pir Mazharul
Haq, however, claimed the police was compelled to take action against
teachers after they tried to enter the Governor's House. He also
accused the opposition parties for inciting the teachers to protest
after misguiding them that the government had rejected their demands.
teachers across the province, especially of government schools have
been agitating for the past few days to pressurise the government for
providing them teaching allowance and timescale.
members again walked out from the House after Deputy Speaker Shehla
Raza, presiding over the proceedings in absence of the Speaker, refused
to allow Opposition member Shaheryar Maher for presenting an
adjournment motion to discuss the teachers' issue. They however
returned to the house after provincial ministers belonging to the
Pakistan People's Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement convinced them to
end their protest.
The deputy speaker informed Maher that the senior minister had already given his statement on the issue.
National People's Party Arif Mustafa Jatoi, however, did not participate in the second walkout.
Assembly Opposition leader Jam Madad Ali said his members were
following the reconciliation policy of President Asif Ali Zardari and
rejected the senior minister's allegation that opposition parties had
provoked the teachers. He added the summary the minister was referring
to, was sent to the Chief Minister's House on June 16, 2009 and had
been pending since then.
Haq said the Chief Minister Qaim Ali
Shah had sent the summary to the finance and education departments on
May 11 for seeking details about the expenses for awarding teaching
allowance and timescale facilities to the teachers, adding that around
Rs 1 billion were required in this regard.
He said the
government had restrained the Karachi police from taking any action
against the protesting teachers but the CCPO, Karachi later informed
the action was taken after teachers tried to enter the Governor's House.
also said that an inquiry should be conducted to ascertain who had
incited the teachers and lashed out at the opposition, adding they had
brutally tortured teachers and banned their associations during their
government but were now supporting the teachers for political gains.
minister said the present government after coming in power had lifted
the ban on teachers associations and was trying to resolve their
He said the government only expected the teachers to
join their duties and provide education to the poor children of the
Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said the
government has no objection over the Opposition's adjournment motion
and only wanted to discuss it after completing the agenda of the day.
Pointing at the opposition members that some elements were trying to
score political points through media, the minister added that
politicising the issues would not serve the people. Daily times
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