Punjab teachers threaten boycott of exams
LAHORE, April 27(Dawn): Thousands of schoolteachers on Thursday staged protest
demonstration, blocked traffic on Lower Mall and managed to reach the Punjab
Assembly to press the government to accept their longstanding
The protesters gathered under the banner of the Muttahida Mahaz
Asatza Pakistan, Punjab chapter, threatening to boycott the forthcoming primary
and middle standard examinations besides holding demonstrations and observing
academic boycott all over the province.
The male and female teachers
belonging to different associations gathered in front of the Data Darbar
carrying banners and placards emblazoned with their demands. They began marching
towards Lower Mall to lead the rally up to Faisal Chowk on The Mall. However, a
police contingent deployed along the protest route barricaded the Lower Mall in
front of the Government Saleem Model School.
As the police stopped
protesters, they chanted slogans against the government and demanded that it
should accept their demands. Exchange of harsh words and scuffles took place
between the teachers and policemen on the Lower Mall for almost two hours. The
teachers also observed a sit-in and blocked traffic for almost two hours that
caused immense problems for commuters and motorists.
Punjab MMAP chairman
Hafiz Abdul Nasir, Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association President Nazim
Hasnain, Jamil Ahmad Virk, Taj Haider, Ishaq Kamiyana, Allah Bakhsh Qaiser,
Malik Allah Dad, Mian Munir, Dr Abida Mubashar, Munawar Tabbasum, Parveen Iqbal,
Nasreen Latif and others spoke to the protesters.
They said the
government had failed to meet the teachers' genuine demands for long. It should
withdraw the denationalisation notification for the return of nine schools to
the Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam, abolish recruitment of teachers on a contract basis
or offer lucrative salaries to them, stop NGOs and political interference in
educational institutions, increase their salaries by 30 per cent in the next
budget, ensure smooth processing for promotions, move-overs and
After about two hours, the teachers managed to remove the
barricades and marched up to Nasser Bagh where they held demonstration.
large number of teachers, who had gathered at the Lahore High Court, managed to
march on The Mall and reached Faisal Chowk to register their protest against the
As the teachers were protesting at Faisal Chowk,
someone hit a policeman on his head with a baton that caused uproar. The
teachers did not own the assailant as their colleague as the man had managed to
The MMAP, Punjab, chairman said the teachers resolved the matter
on the spot. He said the protest remained peaceful throughout the day and
claimed that no arrest was made.
Hafiz Abdul Nasir said
the association had decided that the teachers would boycott the forthcoming
primary and middle standard examinations, observe three-day academic boycott in
all government schools from May 7 and hold protest demonstration at the
Government Islamia High School, Sheranwala Gate, on May
Demonstrations would also be held in front of the Rawalpindi Press
Club, the Multan Press Club and the Masjid-i-Shuhada, Lahore, on May 14, 15 and
16, respectively. In Lahore, the teachers would also march from the
Masjid-i-Shuhada to the Governor's House. The schoolteachers would also take out
a protest rally from Rehmani Masjid, Aabpara Chowk, to the Parliament House on
Mr Nasir said the MMAP would devise a further protest strategy at
a meeting in Rawalpindi on May 24, if the government did not accept teachers'
Mr Nasir said the MMAP had decided not to hold any dialogue with
the government officials as there was no outcome of the meetings held with the
Punjab education secretary and other top government officials.
the government should first notify the payment of allowance to the teachers
before asking them to hold dialogues on other issues.
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