Islamabad:February 04: As many as 20,000 college teachers across Punjab will be on roads along with students and their parents from next week, if the provincial government did not honour its commitment of accepting their charter of four demands.
They have agitated within college premises, on roads and even once within the precincts of the provincial legislature, where their representatives were beaten black and blue.
“What a teacher desperately needs is peace of mind, respect in society and timely promotion but unfortunately that does not happen here,” an associate professor who did not want to be identified complained.
Previously, the strike was called off on January 12, after Punjab government agreed to their four demands: withdrawal of board of governors introduced in 26 leading colleges; promotion of teachers to the next grade; regularisation of services of those teachers, who despite being appointed through Federal Public Service Commission, were given contractual jobs and lastly time scales for teachers as was in vogue in the universities.
Teachers, including lecturers, assistant professors and associate professors of 500 colleges are planning to resort to peaceful agitation again after the provincial government failed to fulfil its commitment.
“We are neither politicians nor want to disrupt educational activities but it is our right to get fair treatment from the government. And to chalk out our future strategy, the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association’s executive council will meet next week,” said Muhammad Ilyas Qureshi, who got Grade-18 after serving for 23 years as lecturer, while talking to The News here. Qureshi has an MSc degree in psychology from the University of Punjab.
His son, a pilot officer in the Pakistan Air Force, is also in the same grade. “This is so strange but it is a story of every second teacher, who either has his son or daughter serving in the same capacity, and this is because of heavily flawed system of promotion,” Ilyas Qureshi points out, who is president of the association’s Rawalpindi Division chapter.
He lamented they were on roads for months for their legitimate rights but the rulers appeared reluctant to give them what should have had been granted to them long, long ago.
Ilyas Qureshi claims were promised thrice a meeting with Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif for a formal announcement regarding the acceptance of their demands but the government is yet to honour its commitment.
He said a six-member committee consisting of provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah, education minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman and four secretaries, including secretary education and secretary finance deliberated upon the charter of demands and then left only demand — that of time scale — for the chief minister to decide. But the chief minister never took up the matter as was promised to them.
He said the attitude of the authorities has disappointed the teachers and they plan to restart their peaceful protest in the second week of February.The news.