Teachers boycott primary exams in nine Punjab districts
LAHORE, May 26(Daily Times): Schoolteachers boycotted
the primary (class 5) examination in some districts of Punjab on Friday, the
first day of the exams. Dozens of teachers were also arrested on the charge of
disrupting the smooth conduction of the exam.
consortium of various teachers' associations, the Muttahida Mahaz Asataza (MMA),
had announced earlier in the week that the teachers would boycott the primary
exam to register their protest against their several "unheard demands",
including the non-issuance of the special Teaching Allowance that teachers in
other provinces are receiving and the denationalisation of a large number of
educational institutions in the province. Education Minister Mian Imran Masood
said that according to the information he had received, the exam
could not be conducted in nine out of the province's 35 districts. He said that
6,592 exam centres had been set in the province and the exam could not be held
in 592 centres. He said the government had assured the protesting teachers on
several occasions that their genuine demands would be accepted. He said strict
action would be taken against the teachers involved in the exam's
Special Secretary (schools) Capt (r) Zahid Saeed said that according to the reports he had received, the teachers had disrupted
the exam in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, Mianwali
and some parts of Faisalabad. He said teachers belonging to various teachers'
associations had not allowed students to sit in the exam and in several parts of
the province they had made announcements that the exams had been postponed. He
said some students did not go to the exam centres because they had believed in
Saeed said the Education Department had also received
reports that the exam had started after some delay in some parts of Lahore, Dera
Ghazi Khan and Rawalpindi. However, he added, the students were given extra time
in those centres. He said that more than 50,000 students could not take the
examination because of the protesting schoolteachers.
Saeed said further
that according to initial reports, dozens of teachers had been arrested in
various parts of the province. He said that the department was planning to deal
with the people disrupting the exams more 'aggressively'. He said the exams
would be held according to the schedule, adding that the exam would be
reorganised on May 30 or 31 in the districts where the exam could not take
MMA Lahore Chapter chairman Allah Dad Malik said that
schoolteachers had expressed complete solidarity against the government over its
"anti-teacher policies". He said that in some districts where teachers had not
performed their duties at the exam centres, peons, security guards and clerical
staff of the schools had 'supervised' the exam. He said the exam's first day had
been successfully boycotted and the second day (today) would also be
He said the arrests could not dampen the teachers'
determination to boycott the exams, rather, the arrests provided more strength
to their movement. He said the committee formed by the government to address
teachers' grievances was "a mere eyewash", adding that the government was not
sincere in solving teachers' problems.
According to a press statement
issued by the MMA, the exam had not taken place in eight districts of the
province. It stated that seven teachers from Rawalpindi, 15 from Sargodha, 25
from Mandi Bahauddin, 17 from Malikwal, 10 from Faisalabad and two from
Pakpattan had been arrested.
The exam of two subjects - Science and
Islamiat (Ethics for Non-Muslim students) – are scheduled to be held on the
second day of exam today (Saturday).
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