Maryam Nawaz seeks to better state of Capital’s teachers

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Teacher’s Day serves as a reminder to acknowledge our mentors

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—In the face of heavy odds and mounting challenges in uplifting the status of over 5,000 teachers in 422 schools of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her team are committed to making a change.On the eve of Teachers Day being celebrated today (Wednesday), according to sources in the CADD Ministry, Maryam Nawaz Sharif has conveyed to the CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to visit federal schools and colleges (including model) and keep himself abreast with the problems of teachers’ community. “It is important that those imparting knowledge to our future generation are accorded respect and privileges they deserve,” a senior official requesting anonymity quoted Maryam Nawaz. The day serves as a reminder to acknowledge the role of our teachers in our lives, she said.
It may be mentioned here that a number of Islamabad’s schools have already been declared ‘model institutes’ and it goes to Maryam Nawaz’ credit to select them for the best possible facilities being provided to the students and the teachers. It is also one of Maryam Nawaz’ education-friendly initiatives that most of the federal schools and colleges have been either provided with new furniture or refurbished, said an official of the FDE. Moreover, security of the schools has been enhanced and each school now has its own boundary and security guards, the official further said.
Despite all such positive steps by the ‘First Daughter’, still there is room for improvement, said anther FDE official when asked to comment on changes taking place in the federal schools and colleges. For instance, the teacher said, still there are 2,300 vacant posts of teachers in these schools. Since 2009, no further induction has been made.
Madam Maryam needs to look into that as well, he said. Another important issue is non-payment of salaries to the daily wage teachers. It may be mentioned here that in all the 18 model colleges of Islamabad there are more than 500 teachers working on daily wages both in morning and evening shift. For the last four months (Since June 2016) these teachers have not been paid their salaries. This has made their life quite miserable. “We’ve been reminding the CADD Minister and the FDE that we need to feed our families and have the right to a respectable life but the CADD Minister seems more interested in assisting or guiding the Mayor of Islamabad in his day-to-day affairs than paying attention to our woes,” said a daily wage teacher. The teachers on daily wages have drawn Maryam Nawaz Sharif attention to their burning issues of job regularization and salary payment and appealed to her to personally look into the matter.
The daily wage teachers’ case is different from those 900 appointments made during PPP government in 2009 when the then Minister for Education Bijarani and his front men had made direct inductions in grades 16, 17, 18 and even 19 without involving FPSC. Later, while declaring those appointments illegal, daily wage teachers were also shown the door and since then there is no end to their suffering, said the official.

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