ISLAMABAD, Jan 10: Around 2,000 daily-wage employees, mostly teachers who have been working at institutions run by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), boycotted classes to protest against the government for not paying them since July last year.
As the academic session nears its end, the teachers – who have not been paid in this fiscal year – protested outside the National Press Club, and vowed that they would continue to do so until they receive their unpaid salaries and orders for the regularisation of their services.
FDE officials said that the protest has affected many schools negatively, since daily-wage teachers work at understaffed schools.
Schoolteachers have already been protesting outside the FDE for several days, but on Tuesday, they were joined by daily-wage college teachers and the protest was moved from the FDE to the press club.
Led by Nadeemul Hasan and Rabia Waheed, the protesting teachers said their salaries as daily-wage workers should be increased in line with the teachers of the cantt and garrison education directorate, whose salaries were increased by 100pc from Rs12,500 to Rs25,000.
The teachers said daily-wage teachers have been teaching for several years, but rather than regularising their services, the FDE recently advertised over 200 teaching jobs, which they called an injustice.
The Islamabad High Court recently ruled that all daily-wage staffers at FDE-run institutions who were appointed without following due procedures and observing the principles of transparency were ‘illegal’. Following the judgement, the FDE decided to appoint new teachers up to grade 14 through open competition, while daily-wage employees would be given 5pc grace marks and age relaxation.
Teachers in grade 16 and above will be appointed through the Federal Public Service Commission.
When contacted, FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi said efforts were being made for an early release of funds by the Ministry of Finance.
He said the FDE and the Capital Administration and Development Division had moved a summary seeking a grant of Rs314 million from the finance ministry to pay the pending salaries.
“I have been personally pursing the files. I hope the matter will be resolved soon. However, there is currently no finance secretary, who is the competent authority to release the special grant. I hope, in the next few days with the new secretary would be appointed, the issue would be resolved on a priority basis,” he said.
Published by Daily Dawn on Jan 10, 2018