SPLA threatens to launch protest drive

KARACHI, July 4(Dawn): The Sindh Professors' and Lecturers' Association (SPLA) has warned that it will launch a protest drive if the education department fails to resolve the issues being faced by college teachers till July 9.

The SPLA's coordination committee will meet on July 10 to finalise the plans for the protest campaign that will include demonstrations, hunger strike and besiegement of the CM House and the provincial assembly building.

SPLA president Prof Riaz Ahsan, vice-president Manzoor Hussain Chishti and Secretary-General Prof Liaquat Aziz disclosed these details at a press conference on Tuesday at the Karachi Press Club.

'Posts lying vacant'

They said that salaries to 863 ad-hoc lecturers had not been paid for the last five months and no action had been taken so far, on three summaries regarding extension to their employment period sent to the Sindh chief minister on March 16, 20 and May 7.

The SPLA office-bearers said that over 1,500 posts of lecturers were lying vacant in colleges across the province and college administrations were hiring cooperative teachers at Rs3,000 to Rs4,000 a month.

They said that instead of appreciating services of these teachers in such circumstances, they were being sacked which was condemnable. They recalled that the notification for upgrading of university teachers issued on the directives of the prime minister was being ignored by the federal and provincial governments.

They said that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Federal Minister Salim Saifullah had assured the SPLA delegation for early issuance of grade upgrading notification, but over 30,000 teachers were deprived of their due rights in the present budget.

Demands

They demanded regularisation of all ad-hoc lecturers of the province and policies to induct cooperative teachers working in the colleges in the department at no less than Rs10,000 a month.

"As per the directives of the prime minister, college teachers' pay scales should be brought on a par with university teachers. Strict measures should be taken to end political and external influence in the provincial universities and educational boards," they said.

They urged the authorities to remove retired persons from important positions and to conduct SSC exams in March and HSC in April so as to protect students from bad weather conditions.

The SPLA leaders warned that if the government did not pay due attention to the genuine issues of the teachers, it would be responsible for the consequences.

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