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Students suffer as teachers exam boycott continues

RAWALPINDI, May 28(Dawn): Students continued to suffer as teachers observed their boycott of the ongoing primary-level examinations for the second day on Saturday. Majority of the students did not turn up for science and Islamiat papers after the bitter experience of Friday when they had to either go back or take examinations in other centres after a long wait.

Parents and students faced a lot of hardships on the second day in the absence of regular examiners as the district administration tried hard to arrange alternatives through private teachers and local administration but remained unsuccessful.

As many as 41,000 candidates were to take examinations at 205 prescribed centres in the district but less than 4,000 students could appear in the papers on Saturday.

According to a press release issued by Punjab Teachers Union (PTU), the strike was successfully observed throughout Punjab.

The PTU said teachers not only boycotted the examinations but also tried to bar the distribution of question papers. In doing so teachers scuffled with the distributing inspectors.

In different areas of Rawalpindi the teachers snatched the papers and barred examinations in various centres.

These incidents have seriously undermined the legality of these exams, the central president of PTU said.

In two days many teachers have been arrested throughout the province and several were being chased. The teachers' union vowed that their protest would continue till the fulfilment of their demands.

It may be recalled here that the teachers had long been demanding provision of teaching allowance promised in 2006-07 provincial budget, regularisation of contract teachers and abolition of monitoring system carried out by retired army personnel.

The teachers in April threatened to boycott matriculation examination but postponed that after assurances from the government about early provision of monthly teaching allowance. They had also warned the government of boycotting the primary examination last week.
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