Community teachers protest on low salary, absence of service structure
In a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training here on Tuesday, senators expressed their concerns over disparities in the salaries of the community teachers working under National Commission for Human Development (NCHD). The meeting was taking place at a time when a large number of teachers and staff of NCHD from all over the country took out a rally outside the Shaheed-e-Millat Secretariat demanding ouster of the Chairperson Razina Alam Khan. Ms Khan is more interested in retaining her contract position than doing some good to the community teachers who are suffering because of low salary, non-revision of grades and absence of service structure, said they. Director Operation Balochistan Syed Sikandar Shah, Director KP Anwar Iqbal and other employees and officers of the NCHD took part in the protest and called upon the government to take notice of the discripancies in the salaries of the community teachers and other staff of the NCHD. At present we are getting between Rs5000 to Rs8000 which is against the vision of Maryam Nawaz Sharif and her father Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, they said.
On the other hand in the Senate committee meeting, Chairperson of the NCHD, Razina Aalam said the community schools teachers whose jobs are considered as part time or voluntary, are paid between Rs5000 to Rs8000. To this Senator Sehar Kamran said if we can invest in mega projects then why we cannot give our teachers even the minimum wages, which is Rs15000 a month. Senator Nuzhat Sadiq also agreed that there should be an increase in the salaries of community teachers along with their proper training.
Senator Noman Wazir Khattak who was chairing the Committee appreciated the compulsory teaching of Holy Quran bill, adopted by National Assembly. Minister of State for Education, Baligur Rehman, while presenting the parts of the bill, said according to first part of the bill students were required to study Quran Nazra from grade 1 to grade 5, while the second part of the bill deals with studying of Quran in simple translation from grade 6 to grade 12.
He also assured that the bill was not applicable to non-Muslim students. The proposed bill would have been limited to the schools, which come under the jurisdiction of Federal Capital, he further clarified. The Minister however, informed the committee that other provinces too had agreed agreed to implement the bill.
Senator Azam Sawati raised the question about the endowment fund, which was established through foreign donations. To this, the Minister Baligur Rehman said there were some issues in the implementation of that programme because of the lack of coordination between the Board established for the purpose and NCHD. The committee also decided to give Minister of State for Education responsibility to coordinate between the three parties involved, foreign donors, board for endowment fund and NCHD. Chairman Committee Senator Noman Wazir Khattak said the community teachers should not be paid less than Rs15000.