PESHAWAR, Sept 23: As teachers of the public sector universities and schools and colleges affiliated with them are all set to boycott classes from today (Friday) in protest against delay in their salary raise, parents of the students resent that the move would result in wastage of their money and precious time of their children.
Around 25,000 students are enrolled in the educational institutions located on the campus of University of Peshawar alone, including over 9,000 in three schools affiliated with it.
The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) had announced last week that teachers of public sector educational institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would go on strike from Sept 23 (today) and boycott classes to press the government for implementation of the 15 per cent raise in their salaries announced three months ago for government employees.
“Yes, we will proceed with the strike as planned,” said Dr. Johar Ali, president of the Peshawar University Teachers Association and provincial president of the FAPUASA when contacted on Thursday. He said that as a teacher he felt ashamed that instead of taking classes they would be on roads protesting and raising slogans for their rights.
“But if we remain silent we will not get our rights,” Dr Ali said.
The teachers` leader said that they remained silent for three months and noted that the government would not respond to their mere requests for increase in their salaries.
He also said that universities would increase the fee of students to cope with losses if the government kept ignoring the educational institutions and teachers.
“My son has been told that there will be no classes tomorrow (Sept 23). The teachers should not resort to such steps as the parents have been paying fee of their children,” said an angry parent whose child is enrolled in the University Public School, affiliated with the UoP.
When Gul Hameed Khan, principal of the school, was asked about the strike, he said that `a few teachers` would go and register their protest along with the teachers` body.
A senior teacher of the University Model School, however, said on condition of anonymity that the teachers would observe complete boycott of classes.
Parents say that when they have paid the fees and the teachers get paid how they could refuse to take classes. “Not taking classes will be a sheer dishonesty by teachers with their profession,” they said.
“I pay Rs15,000 a year to the school for my child`s education. So it is the duty of the teachers to provide the service for which I have already paid,” said a parent on condition of anonymity.
The government had announced 15 per cent raise in salary of the government employees, but left out the teachers.
When contacted for his comments on the issue, University of Peshawar spokesman Akhtar Amin said that chancellors` of the universities in the province had decided to meet the governor, but the meeting could not materialise as yet.
Asked whether the UoP administration would take action against teachers boycotting their classes, he said that the administration would not allow the boycott of the classes to prolong and take up the issue with the quarters concerned.Dawn.