Protesting Punjab teachers baton-charged
LAHORE, June 2(The News): The police on Friday baton-charged protesting teachers who tried to
march towards the Governor's House from Faisal Chowk to stage a sit-in for their
A large number of teachers from various parts of the province
had gathered outside Masjid-i-Shuhada, The Mall, to march towards the Governor's
House for staging a sit-in there. However, the police blocked the way of the
protesting teachers at Faisal Chowk near Punjab Assembly and stopped them from
The Muttahida Mahaz Usataza (MMU) had given a sit-in
call in connection with teachers' demand of special teaching allowance, change
in academic session, and increase in salaries and against the denationalisation
of government institutions.
A large contingent of police was deployed at
Faisal Chowk while barbed wires were spread around to stop the protesting
teachers. Exchange of hot words and minor scuffles took place between the
teachers and the policemen when the teachers tried to cross the blockades. The
police resorted to baton-charge to disperse them.
The MMU senior
office-bearers, including Punjab chapter Chairman Hafiz Abdul Nasir, Zarar
Ahmed, Rasheed Bhatti and others, addressed the protesting teachers at Faisal
Chowk and criticised the government for not giving importance to teachers'
They vowed to continue their protest campaign unless the
government fulfils their demands regarding the issuance of notification of
special teaching allowance, increase in salaries, revising the decision
regarding the start of academic session and stop denationalisation of government
schools. They also announced setting up hunger strike camps at district levels
across the province from June 9.
It is worth-mentioning here that
teachers had also boycotted the primary (class-5) exams in Punjab, which started
on 25 May. They had succeeded in disrupting the exams in different districts of
the province. The government had to postpone the primary and middle standard
exams (scheduled to commence from 2 June) because of the teachers' protest and
reports regarding the leakage of question papers during the primary exam.
It is worth-mentioning here that Muttahida Mahaz-i-Usatza Pakistan's
boycott of the class 5 examination had led to the postponement of the exam
across the province. As many as three question papers were also leaked prior to
the exam while it could not be conducted smoothly in various districts.
The teachers had also boycotted the exam training before the
commencement of activity besides holding demonstrations to convey their
viewpoint. The forthcoming class 8th exam has also been postponed indefinitely
that has literally wasted millions of rupees incurred on the whole exercise.
Punjab Secretary Education Syed Khalid Akhlaq Gillani said that the
government was not ready to give in to the pressure tactics of the teachers.
However, he said, it was ready to discuss the issues at hand.
The MMU is
protesting on the delay in provision of teaching allowance despite the fact that
the announcement in this regard was made by the federal government in last
year's budget. The provincial government had announced to follow suit, but then
backed out on the pretext of the lack of requisite funds.
only the federal and Balochistan governments have agreed to extend teaching
allowance to the school teachers and the controversial issue is still pending in
other parts of the country. The Punjab government has reportedly forwarded a
summary to the federal government for allocation of funds in this regard.
The provincial government has estimated a financial impact of
approximately Rs three billion of teaching allowance to over 300,000 school
teachers in the province. The federal government, though, has shown no
inclination so far of providing the requisite amount.
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