Bad day for Sindh teachers
Bad day if you're a teacher
Karachi, May 28: The city's main thoroughfare was blocked and hundreds of
vehicles stranded on Thursday, as law enforcement agencies used water
cannons and teargas on protesting teachers trying to reach the
Governor's House to register their complaints.
As per details,
hundreds of teachers including women, under the banner of Sindh
Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA), staged a demonstration in
front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC).
During the protest, SPLA
members started to march towards the Governor's House to record a
memorandum, however, when the protesters reached Fawara Chowk, law
enforcers used water cannons to stop them. On being refused to go to
the Governor's House, the teachers began to agitate at the place,
causing a massive traffic jam on Abdullah Haroon Road, Fawara Chowk,
Zainab Market and Saddar.
During the agitation, the infuriated
teachers pelted stones on police and passing vehicles and staged a
sit-in at Fawara Chowk. At least five police officers and dozens of
teachers sustained injuries and were shifted to hospitals for treatment.
police also detained 50 teachers including Abdul Rauf Bhutto, Liaquat
Gadhar, Usman Gadhar and Muhammad Usman Halipota, and took them to
Artillery Maidan police station.
Following the incident,
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Rafiq
Engineer rushed to the spot and tried to solve the issue but the
leaders of SPLA refused to listen to the leader.
Later, the arrested teachers were released on the orders of the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad.
the SPLA leaders told journalists in KPC that teachers took out the
rally against the delay in approval of their allowances and other
benefits by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Education Minister
They said the president had ordered the CM to
approve the teachers' demands and sign the summary in this regard,
however, the chief minister delayed the signing of the summary and thus
the teachers wanted to go to the Governor's House to register their
In the Sindh Assembly session, Haq had said the
teachers' association had sabotaged education in the province and
called them 'enemies of Sindh'.
They said the minister ought to
work for the development of faculties and solution of their problems
instead of giving such harsh statements against them.
They pointed out that teachers were not enemies of education but imparting knowledge.
is pertinent to mention here that the SPLA has already expressed
concern over the deterioration of education at college level in the
SPLA leaders were of the view that college teachers
were considered a major hurdle in the privatisation of colleges hence
they were being deprived of their basic service rights, including
health insurance, job confirmation, housing, children quota, timing
adjustments and increase in salaries. Daily times
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What do the teachers want?
Karachi: Teachers' groups from Sindh are
demanding incentives which have already implemented in other party of
the country; it had unanimously been decided to allow timescales for
teachers, Primary Teachers' Association (PTA) President Muhammad Rafiq
Moreover, a decision regarding the payment
issue was taken at a recent high-level meeting, and it was decided that
payment will be proposed from April 7, 2010, and arrears of timescale
with effect from 2007 will be considered for payment when the financial
position of the province improves. Teaching allowances were to be
implemented immediately, and the decision was submitted for approval
with the authorities concerned.
"There has however, been silence
ever since, and government officials are not saying a single word in
this regard," Jarwar said. The news
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Karachi: A protest drive by government school teachers in Sindh has left educational activities in a number of the
province's districts paralysed for the past several days. The teachers
are demanding benefits and allowances granted to educators in the other
three provinces which, they say, the Sindh government is not willing to
extend to them. Teachers say a summary prepared by a government
committee for the grant of benefits has been rejected by the chief
minister. The government says the summary is under consideration.
Protests have been staged in various towns and
cities across the province, including at the Bhutto mausoleum in Garhi
Khuda Bakhsh. However, matters took a nasty turn when the protesting
teachers clashed with police in Karachi on Thursday. The police
resorted to tear-gas shelling and a baton charge to keep the teachers
away from Governor's House, where they wanted to deliver a memorandum
to the governor. On Wednesday, the provincial education minister had
criticised the teachers' associations, for their protest drive, in the
Sindh Assembly, saying they had "destroyed education". He claimed that
half the teachers do not show up to take classes, adding that the
devolution of the education department to the city and district
governments was responsible for the sorry state of education in the
In this tug-of-war between the government and
teachers, the children of Sindh are suffering the most. Teachers'
representatives have said the protests will continue till the summer
vacations and may carry on after the holidays. This is a grim prospect.
Educators have every right to peacefully protest and pursue their
demands, but this should not be at the cost of children's education.
A compromise between both sides must be
reached. Both the teachers and the government equally share the
responsibility of improving the quality of education in Sindh. On the
teachers' part, securing benefits without improving their performance
and standards is a questionable goal. On the government's end, putting
the blame for the rot in the education system on past governments will
not solve the issue. Concrete measures need to be taken by all
stakeholders to improve the falling standards of education in Sindh's
public schools. Dawn
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Governor orders release of arrested teachers
Karachi: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan issued directives to
immediately release all teachers who were detained during police action
on their protest near the Governor's House. He also directed the
relevant officials to probe into the matter. Regarding the presentation
of a memorandum to the Sindh governor by the teachers association, a
Governor's House spokesman said the governor had not stopped anyone
from submitting their memorandums. In this regard, he said the
administration and police has always cooperated with the people.
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Teachers' summary not rejected: CM spokesman
Karachi: The chief minister has not rejected any summary regarding
schoolteachers' issues including teaching allowances and timescale,
Sindh chief minister spokesman Waqar Mehdi clarified on Thursday. He
said the summary had been sent to the Provincial Finance Secretary and
Provincial Education Secretary for estimating expenses and other
details, and in light of the recommendations, the chief minister could
approve it. The spokesman said the government was aware of the
teachers' problems and wanted to resolve their genuine issues, whereas
teachers should avoid taking steps aimed at harming the education
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'Over 100,000 tobacco-related deaths in Pakistan every year'
Karachi: Tobacco-related diseases kill 100,000 in Pakistan every
year - more than suicide bombing, road traffic accidents, honour
killings and drug abuse combined, said Prof Javaid Khan, Chairman NATC
and Head of Pulmonary Diseases at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
was speaking at a seminar on Thursday, which was organised in
connection with World No Tobacco Day by the National Alliance for
Tobacco Control (NATC).
The professor, while strongly
criticising the government for its failure to take effective measures
towards tobacco control, warned of massive health care costs of
treating diseases caused by tobacco.
He regretted the
government's failure in its obligation as signatory to the UN Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control to implement forceful anti tobacco
measures. These include a total ban on tobacco advertising and
promotion, smoking ban at all public places and increased taxation on
tobacco products nationally.
This year's WHO theme, 'Gender
and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women' highlights the fact
that women are a major target for the tobacco industry, which needs to
recruit new users to replace the nearly half of current users who will
die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases. In fact, women who smoke
are two to six times as likely to suffer heart attack as non-smoking
women, but they also run a higher relative risk than men of developing
Specifically addressing students from
various medical colleges at the event, Prof Khan underlined the role
model status of doctors – smoking by health professionals negates the
anti-smoking message. Almost 30 per cent of Pakistan's male medical
students smoke compared to less than 5 per cent in the US, Canada and
All medical college curriculums must include
tobacco control and smoking cessation. Alarming trends in Pakistani
youth are reflected in a recent survey: 24% of male and 16% of female
college students of Karachi are regular smokers; shisha smoking rate of
Karachi youth is an astounding 48%.
"Pakistanis burn away over
Rs 60 crore daily on cigarettes alone and an equal amount on smokeless
tobacco - Naswar, Gutka and Mainpuri, and the like: yet smoking is
advertised as a pleasurable and 'cool' activity on shop-fronts and in
youth magazines; TV drama serials also indirectly promote tobacco
products," said Dr Khan.
Prof Khan called for a comprehensive
ban on all forms of tobacco advertising as well as on the industry's
sponsorship of sports and entertainment events. He also said that the
government needs to set up smoking cessation clinics at all major
national hospitals, where health professionals would mentor smokers on
how to kick this destructive habit.
Second-hand smoke contains
thousands of toxic chemicals including 250 well-known cancer-causing
agents. Recent research reveals that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand
smoke increase their heart attack and lung cancer risk by 30 per cent.
An NATC survey in major cities shows that only a handful of hotels and
restaurants are implementing the government's total ban on smoking
announced in May 2009. Global fast food chains who operate smoke-free
premises worldwide flout the ban at their Pakistan franchises.
call for a fine of Rs 1,000 to 100,000 on restaurants violating the
indoors smoking ban but unsurprisingly no such fines appear to have
been levied so far. Smokers, while having the right to smoke do not
have the right to destroy others' health. Dr Khan asked the provincial
health departments and city governments to ensure that the smoking ban
at hotels and restaurants in the province is enforced with full force.
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Urdu-language research journal launched
Karachi: The Department of Mass Communication, University of
Karachi (KU), has launched a research journal in Urdu named "Muhaqqiq"
that will be published twice a year.
Professor and former
chairperson of the department Dr Tahir Masood, the patron and chief
editor of the journal said that the publication has been
launched to fulfill the need of a "standard research journal" in mass
communication. "It is a fact that there is a dearth of research in
Urdu, especially related to mass communication. Researchers, both in
India and Pakistan have rarely thought of writing and publishing their
research work in Urdu that cover social sciences. We have tried to be
the first drop of rain. Let us see if it becomes a heavy rain", he
The journal consists of research papers by senior
professors including Dr Shamsuddin, Dr Nisar Ahmed Zuberi, Dr Mahmood
Ghaznavi, Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan and students of the department. The news
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10 students arrested in protest for 'power'
Khairpur: Police baton charged hosteller students of Shah Abdul
Latif University and arrested 10 of them on Thursday while they were
protesting against lack of basic facilities at the university hostels.
A number of students came out of the hostels late Wednesday evening and
held a demonstration on the National Highway, suspending vehicular
traffic for quite some time.
A police party, led by SP
investigation Ghulam Akbar Waggan, reached there and held talks with
the students who told him that semester examinations were in progress
but they were unable to properly prepare for the examinations due to
frequent suspension of electric supply in the scorching summer.
They said that the hostels lacked facilities like generators, an
alternate source of power supply during loadshedding, water coolers and
Later, SP claimed that the
students had called off their protest after he held talks with the
university administration and informed it about the demands of
However on Thursday morning, the students, resorted
to protest again and, raising slogans against the university
administration, held a demonstration on the highway for about four
Police reached there, resorted to tear gas shelling and baton charge to disperse the protesters and arrested 10 of them.
SALU spokesman Saheb Khan said that the demands of students,
except generators, had been accepted. He said that the university had
five hostels and it was not possible for the administration to provide
generators to all the hostels.
He denied that water coolers were not available at the hostels.
He said that talks were to be held with students on Thursday but the students boycotted the negotiations.
SPO City Umer Salamat said that some students had been taken into
custody for blocking the highway, and added that those found innocent
would be released.
Meanwhile, Shah Abdul Latif University
Teachers' Association has condemned the police for using tear gas and
batons against the students and manhandling them.
A press release said that the police action had blemished the sanctity of the university. Dawn
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