Teachers on strike: Future of students hangs in the balance | Pakistan Today

Teachers on strike: Future of students hangs in the balance

Around ten thousand students of the federal government colleges are at the receiving end as a result of the strike by their teachers in the shape of loss to their studies, but neither the government nor the protesters are paying attention towards their future.
The teachers in the colleges run by the federal government are not taking classes since September 3 in a protest against the non-implementation of teachers’ package announced by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on October 8 last year. Owing to the strike, the worst affectees are the students of graduation classes as they are going to sit in annual examinations, which will be conducted by the University of Punjab in March 2012.
“Teachers’ community has been forced by the government to mark the International Teachers’ Day as a black day followed by boycott of classes. We are well aware of students’ loss, as we had no option but to boycott the classes,” said Professor Tahir Mahmood, an office bearer of Federal Government Colleges Teachers Association (FGCTA). The college teachers have been struggling for their up-gradation after they were assured by former premier Shaukat Aziz on World Teachers’ Day in 2005.
Later, the incumbent prime minister announced their up-gradation in an address on November 8, 2010. But despite the lapse of one year, teachers working in Grade-16 and above are still awaiting the fulfillment of announcement. They alleged that the high-ups of Capital Administrative and Development Division (CAAD) were creating hurdles in the way of their up-gradation. Prof Tahir said dozens of teachers, who were recruited in BPS-16 some 15 years ago, were still working in the same scale, which was a sheer injustice.
Around 1,500 college teachers associated with the Federal Directorate of Education have been protesting for the last two weeks. In first stage, they partially boycotted the classes followed by staging protest demonstrations; however, they are observing a complete boycott since September 3. “We will not take classes till the fulfillment of our genuine demand of up-gradation,” said Professor Yasmeen Bokhari.
When contacted, Federal Directorate of Education Director General Atif Kiani told Pakistan Today that the strike was unjustified. He said a summary had been moved to the Finance Division, which would be approved in a day or two. “Office work always takes some time but it doesn’t mean that the teachers start boycott of classes at the cost of students,” the DG added.

College without principal
ISLAMABAD – The only commerce college in the federal capital is being run without any principal for the last two months, which reflects indifferent attitude of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) towards educational institutions. A source in the FDE told Pakistan Today that the office of Federal Government College of Commerce principal was lying vacant after the retirement of Professor ZafarUllah Bhuttar on August 4, 2010.
The source said that in the absence of principal, all the administrative work has come to a halt, badly affecting the performance of teachers. It is relevant to note here that FG Commerce College for Men is the only commerce college in the city in the public sector. Currently, around 3,500 commerce students are getting education from this prestigious institution.
When contacted, FDE Director General Atif Kayani said his office had moved a summary to Capital Administration and Development Authority (CAAD), seeking appointment of new principal. He said a new principal would be appointed within one week. Staff Report

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