Professors protest for their rights

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LAHORE: Teachers, under the banner of Punjab Professors and Lectures Association (PPLA), staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday against alleged prevailing culture of corruption in educational institutions which affected the status of their pay protection and promotions.

Hundreds of teachers from different colleges of the province gathered outside Punjab Civil Secretariat to take part in the protest demanding their rights. The demonstrators were holding placards inscribed with slogans against authorities of the higher education department and the Punjab government.

A protestor Mehboob Ahmad said that it seemed that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif only understands the language of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, adding that teachers would refrain from using vulgar language because they represented an educated class of the country.

He objected to the lacklustre attitude of the officials of the education department and said that it was unfortunate that teachers’ summaries could not addressed on a timely basis.

The PPLA had come up with three main demands, including pay protection, pay time scale and one step up-gradation for the teaching community.

Another protestor Faiza Rana said that anything that was beneficial to students was also beneficial for the students. She strongly condemned the attitude of ‘baboos’ and said that the bureaucrats did not want to abandon the legacy of colonialism.

A teacher Syed Jawad Raza Bukhari said that they had been waiting for their promotion for the last many years but their ‘Annual Confidential Reports’ were not signed by the competent authorities.

During their protest, Lahore Colleges DPI Jahangir Ahmad Chaudhary reached the spot and tried to negotiate with the protesting teachers, but they were reluctant to hold negotiations with the official. However, another senior official brought them to the table for negotiation. According to an insider, the authorities of the department asked the protesting teachers to give them till January 20, 2018, to take up their matter with the Punjab CM.

“Special secretary has assured us to take up our matter with the CM,” said one protester. “Our leaders have given them till January 20 to decide our fate,” he added.