Acedamic activities resumption in Punjab educational institutions
Resumption of educational activities in Punjab
Lahore, Oct 25: The Punjab government has decided to allow educational
activities in all those educational institutions from Monday, which
have completed their security arrangements according to the conditions
prescribed by the government.
This was decided at a high level meeting which
was chaired by Senior Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial
Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Chairman Taskforce Colonel (r) Shuja
Khanzada, Advisor to CM Jehanzeb Barki, MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique, MPAs, Chief
Secretary, IG Police Punjab and other senior officers.
The meeting announced
that all those educational institutions, which had completed the required
security arrangements, would be opened from Monday (tomorrow). The meeting also
decided that heads of the educational institutions, concerned SPs and
administrative authorities would jointly verify the compliance of security
arrangements by the educational institutions and they would be responsible for
these arrangements. The meeting further decided to take strict notice of
non-implementation of security arrangements laid down by the government by some
According to sources, the decision has also been
taken because of the security measures adopted by the educational institutions.
On the other hand, the government had warned those institutions failing to
arrange security, would not be allowed to resume activities.
security measures include posting of guards in uniform and with licensed arms at
the entrance, closure of rear entry points, installation of walk through gates,
metal detectors and wearing of uniform and display of identity cards by students
as well as the teachers.
On the other hand, Governor Punjab in his capacity as chancellor of all the
public varsities in the province had also directed all universities to reopen
from Monday, saying there should not be any security lapse.
In this regard,
Secretary Schools Muhammad Aslam said during the checking, both the government
and private schools would be treated equally, and only those institutions would
be allowed to reopen where satisfactory security arrangements had been made
under intimation to the police circle concerned.
All the universities, while
taking other steps to beef up security, would not allow anybody to enter the
premises without a security check and identity cards.
The Punjab University
has band the entry of all vehicles in its premises, while students' vehicles
have also been banned. It has fortified the check-posts at the entry points,
teaching departments and the hostels.
Meanwhile, the government has expressed
its inability to provide security personnel to the institutions, but will keep
close liaison on the matter.
According to credible reports, private schools
have made no worthwhile security arrangements yet despite the fact the
instructions by the government are not new, as it is impressing upon the
administration of private institutions to make foolproof arrangement for the
past two years, but without any real effect.
Most of the schools and colleges
demand that the government should deploy security personnel itself. Moreover,
hundreds of schools even do not have any boundary wall. The nation
Private schools reluctant to spend on security
Lahore: The attendance in public and private schools of provincial
capital was not more than 50 per cent before last Tuesday's terror attack on
International Islamic University Islamabad that led to closure of campuses in
Punjab for indefinite period.
Now the educational institutions, both
public and private, have been directed by the provincial government to chalk out
comprehensive plans for the security of their students. The government has
ensured the institutions' administrations that it will help check all buildings
and open places near these institutions but they will have to take measures like
hiring a good number of guards and raise the boundary walls of their campuses to
deal with the menace.
Ironically, a majority of these institutions,
despite the government directions, could not take such security measures during
the summer vacation.
The private schools association has urged the
government to provide them security as they cannot manage it on their own. But,
the government, which does not have resources to provide security to a large
number of schools, has questioned their administrations as why they cannot spend
a few bucks on a vital need despite having huge earnings.
schools, especially those having chains allover the province, are charging
exorbitant fees but are reluctant to hire a few more security guards, install
CCTV cameras and raise the boundary walls of their campuses.
set (of schools administrations) should change and they must ensure the safety
of their students first," says an education department official. "Closure of the
campuses was the last option for the government as we cannot compromise
Following three terror attacks in Lahore on Oct 15,
the administrations of a number of schools received 'prank' calls that further
added to the fears of the parents about the safety of their children. Many of
them had stopped sending their wards to schools.
"Had we not ordered
closure of the campuses the number of students attending schools would have
further declined after the attack on IIUI," the official says. Earlier it was
decided the campuses which had taken adequate security measures according to
government directions would be allowed to reopen before those still struggling
to do so, he adds.
All the public and private varsities in the province
have been directed to establish independent security departments headed by a
chief security officer. The CSOs and security guards should be ex-army men,
preferably, and recruitments should be made as early as possible.
Several non-governmental organisations and the Human Rights Commission
of Pakistan have also asked the government to open educational institutions at
the earliest to defeat terrorists' foul designs of paralysing normal life.
The All Pakistan Private Schools Association has also requested the
government to reopen the schools as early as possible.
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College teachers cry in wilderness for promotion
Sahiwal: Disappointed at the poor service structure, non-implementation
of a four-tier promotion formula and fresh contract appointments, college
teachers see the Punjab government's celebrations on the World Teacher's Day as
a cosmetic and face-saving exercise.
According to the data available
with the provincial government, about 17,000 teachers are serving in 480 public
colleges of Punjab. They are serving as lecturers, assistant professors,
associate professors and professors in grades 17 to 20. College teachers'
promotion is very slow as compared to school and university teachers'.
An average provincial or federal government employee inducted in grade
17 can easily get four-step promotion in his/her 30-35-year career. "These
promotions are mostly done automatically," says Prof Asif Tanveer, a member of
the provincial committee of Ittehad-i-Asatza. But this is not the case with
college teachers' promotion.
A college teacher, who starts his/her
career from grade 17, hardly goes one step up in his/her 30-35-year service.
"The reason is that teachers' promotion is not linked to the four-tier formula,
which means four-step time bound promotion from grade 17 to 20," says MAO
College's Prof Arif, who is executive member of Ittehad-i-Asatza. In the absence
of a four-tier time scale formula for teachers' promotion, teachers recruited in
grade 17 hardly reach grade 18 (assistant professor) after 21 years of service.
"Mostly, teachers retire in grade 18 after spending 30 years in the education
department," says Prof Bari Dolla, an activist of Tanzeem-i-Asatza in Sahiwal.
During his visit to various colleges, this correspondent met many
teachers who have not been promoted even after 19-20 years of service as
lecturers. Urdu teacher Rao Umer Daraz and Chemistry teacher Mr. Jamil are two
of thousands of such teachers in Punjab.
"We have no hope of reaching
grade 19 or 20, as we will retire after three years," say Muhammad Ashraf and Mr
Zubair from Physics Department. They spent 17-18 years as lecturers and they
still have no idea about their promotion. Prof Yousaf Sheikh, who teaches
political science at a college in Khanewal, says the 1987 batch of lecturers has
yet to be promoted.
It's learnt that about 40 per cent of college
teachers are serving as lecturers for the last 15 to 17 years and they have no
promotion in sight within next four to five years.
Prof Rana Aslam from
Lahore's Diyal Singh College says the Punjab government has not given the
college teachers the promotion announced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
"University teachers were promoted under the same order, but college teachers
were not," he said.
Hafiz Khaliq, representative of Punjab Professors
and Lecturers Association, criticises the Punjab government's policy on college
teachers' promotion and its linking with performance. "It's an irony that the
Punjab government is harping on the performance based evaluation without
offering college teachers good salary and peaceful and politics-free academic
Prof Arif said university teachers were awarded
scholarships by the Higher Education Commission, but not a single PhD
scholarship programme was designed both by the provincial or federal government
for college teachers in the last 30 years.
"Our acquaintances who joined
schools or universities are now in grade 19 or 20, but we are still in grade
17," says Dr Mirza Moeen, a lecturer from the Government College, Sahiwal. In
contrast with Punjab, Balochistan's Education Department has accepted college
teachers' demand and gave them the four-tier time scale promotion system.
Punjab, Sindh and NWFP have yet to look into the problems related to teachers'
Prof Tanveer, a representative of Balochistan Professors and
Lecturers Association, told this correspondent from Quetta that now college
lecturers would become assistant professors after seven years of service,
associate professors after 14 years of service and professors after 19 years of
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