FDE staff, teachers upbeat about regularisation

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  • Daily-wage staffers also seek payment of withheld salaries

ISLAMABAD: Unlike the rest of the world, the government has never given any importance to the education and it could judged from the fact that thousands of teaching and non-teaching staff have been protesting in the federal capital for the last three months for regularisation of their services and release of unpaid salaries.

Male and female daily-wage staffers of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) could be seen protesting in front of Press Club for their rights for the last 110, boycotting classes to seek payment of withheld salaries and service regularisation; but neither the government regularised their services nor paid their salaries since January.

However, the protesting teachers were quite upbeat about resolution of their issue since State Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division Dr Tariq Fazal held out assurance that he would appear before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on April 25 to urge the court to give a decision in favour of the employees, which he said would be implemented within a week.

Talking to Pakistan Today, the protesting employees said that the minister would himself appear before the court; hence they are quite hopeful of the positive outcome of the decade-long issue. However, they said that despite the minister’s assurance, their protest and the boycott of the classes would be continued until resolution of the issue.

The daily-wagers have been protesting for the last 110 days and they did not attend a class for a single day, causing great educational loss to the students but the authority concerned is little bothered for the resolution of the issue. They said that the minister has already assured them he had no objection and wanted to regularised them.

They said that they were quite optimistic that their hard and long battle for rights might pay the dividends. A teacher said that the majority of the employees’ issue was only of posting since the Cabinet Division had already given approval to their appointments.

However, he said that since the case was already in the court; hence the minister held out the assurance that he wanted to appear in the court to share they had need of these employees and wanted to regularise if the court has no objection. The teacher said that the court had already regularised over 0.1 million employees; hence it wouldn’t have any objection.

Dr Tariq Fazal is mainly responsible for not resolving daily-wage employees because that the lower courts and the Supreme Court including Standing Committees have clearly directed for sorting out this issue on priority basis, an official said. He said that the minister wanted to delay the issue so as to appoint people from his own constituency.

A total of 1800 teaching and non-teaching staff members are staging protest demonstration and not attending the classes due to which the students suffered the most. About the salary, the official said that the finance ministry has already given approval for the release of the pending salaries since January 2018.

He said that the salary would be cleared within next few days, adding that since there is no separate budget allocation hence always the problem arises. The irate employees on April 11 besieged Tariq Fazal’s Chatha Bakhtawar farmhouse and blocked the entrance to his home. However, he gave assurance to them about their demands.

The protesters said that apart from paying their wages, the government doesn’t even agree to regularise them. Despite repeated attempts, neither CADD Secretary Azhar Chaudhry nor FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi could be reached for comments.