ISLAMABAD - The teachers of Islamabad observed Salam Teachers' Day as black day on Friday against government's discriminatory policies towards teaching fraternity.
World Teachers' Day falling on Saturday (today) is observed annually on October 5, a day devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. Saturday is an official off day at educational institutions so the teachers of around 30 government colleges observed the day on Friday. They displayed banners at the entrance of the educational institutions that reflected their frustration and disquiet.
They had decided to protest against the non-payment of hiring allowances and withdrawal of various allowances they had been getting with the timescale promotion since 2011. The decision was taken a week ago in a joint meeting of the Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA), Central Academic Staff Association (CASA) of Islamabad Model Colleges and Headmasters Association of FG Schools (HAFGS).
The teaching community feels that they have been a victim of ill-advised and cruel policies of Capital Administration and Development Division (CA&DD) and Federal Directorate of Education (FDE). The teachers were given time scale promotion in response to their sustained and hard struggle in 2011. But after two years, all the benefits have been rolled back. Besides, the IMCs staffers have been deprived of their hiring allowances for the last three years. The employees of model colleges and FG colleges are commencing their protest by observing the World Teachers' Day as the black day. October 05 has been celebrated in Pakistan as Slaam Teacher Day for the last few years. But teachers of the whole country in general and the capital territory in particular have been shoved into a grim and servile condition by biased and cold decisions of the authorities, remarked Prof Muhammad Rasheed, President CASA.
Yasser Chatha, CASA general secretary, informed the teachers on the day highlighted the contribution of teaching community of the public sector which provides for the educated and well-trained human resource for the development of the country. "But we, the teachers are ignored in giving us due rights and entitlements by the administrative class. The nations which can't acknowledge teachers' invaluable services can little have sophisticated societies and nations whether in fields of arts and crafts or in the realms of science and technology."
"Our incentive structure is grossly de-motivating and very little encouraging. We hoisted banners condemning duplicity and cold bloodedness of the authorities in keeping us in constant struggle for such issues which could easily have been non-issues," he said.
Following the directive of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani school teachers were upgraded in 2011 while the college teachers were given (instead of up-gradation) a bogus notification of time scale promotion, which is full of confusion that even AGPR and Finance Division are unable to understand it, complained Prof Tahir Mehmood, president FGCTA.
"The Finance Division declared time scale promotion just like 'Move Over' after two years of its implementation which means that no benefits in the shape of perks and privileges of the next grade are entitled.
If the benefits which were given to the teachers are withdrawn, this act will not be acceptable to the teachers at any cost. The man who issued this bogus notification should be booked and punished instead of teachers."
Lady teachers of model colleges have been promoted as secondary school teachers without taking approval from Establishment Division and Finance Division.
After two years, the AGPR also declared this promotion as bogus because this nomenclature is illogical for them, as they are not teaching secondary classes. And by adopting this nomenclature, they may never be promoted again.
These teachers take 5 to6 non-stop periods a day. Their work is the backbone of model schooling system. They check homework daily of 55 students in the classroom, perform extra duties and despite their invaluable contribution they are being denied of their due right of promotion.
"In such circumstances how can teachers celebrate Teachers' Day?" he questioned, cautioning that the associations have decided if the government does not resolve the issues of the teachers, they will be on roads very soon.