PAKISTAN: Teachers demand removal of education minister

18 May 2017 Ferado

HYDERABAD, May 16: Women were among a number of primary school teachers who staged a protest sit-in under the banner of the All Sindh Primary Teachers’ Association (SPTA) on May 15 at the Hyderabad bypass for some hours while pressing the Sindh government to remove the provincial education minister and implement their charter of demands forthwith.

They took out a big rally from Jamshoro Road and staged the sit-in for around three hours. The protest caused traffic jams and hardships to passengers and commuters in the sweltering weather.

Carrying banners and placards, office-bearers and members of the SPTA raised vociferous slogans against Sindh Minister for Education and Literacy Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar and the Sindh government. Delivering fiery speeches, they said the government adopted a step-motherly attitude towards primary teachers “who educate and polish the very young children of the nation”.

Speaking to protesters, SPTA central president Intezar Hussain Chalgari, senior vice president Ghulam Rasool Mehar and general secretary Sikandar Ali Jatoi presented a charter of 20 demands.

They demanded of the government to give grade-16 to primary teachers and to regularise over 15,000 contractual teachers, who have been working since 2010 in Sindh after qualifying a test conducted by the University of Sindh. They said that around 2,500 primary teachers had been relieved from various schools in the province two years ago after they were accused of not performing their duties. They rejected this allegation and asked for their posting and release of their salaries.

They said that those 4,000 teachers who were appointed in 2001 and were regularised in 2005 must be promoted. They asked for implementation of son and deceased quota without any further delay. They demanded reinstatement of the ‘forcibly’ sacked teachers and abolition of biometric system.

Meanwhile, they called off the protest when Hyderabad SSP Irfan Baloch talked to education secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili on phone and Mr Uqaili issued a letter for a meeting with the SPTA office-bearers today (May 16) at his office, according to SPTA general secretary Sikandar Ali Jatoi.