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Punjab educators` recruitment

May 19, 2009

NO doubt Shahbaz Sharif is trying his utmost to provide justice and relief to the people of Punjab. His endeavours to bring reforms in all public provincial departments are really laudable.

But the sad fact is that the school education department remains unattended.

Due to this, the highups of this department are trying their best to exploit young postgraduates. Educators' posts in all the districts of Punjab are being filled these days. The policy implemented by the school education department is unjust and shows an element of exploitation.

First, the policy maintains that women candidates, besides applying in women elementary schools, can apply in male elementary schools as elementary school educators (ESE) and senior elementary school educators (SESE).

Here they would be competing against male candidates on open merit. The females who would not get employment in female elementary schools would join as ESE and SESE in male elementary schools. This would lead to escalating unemployment among male postgraduates. This is injustice.

On the one hand, male postgraduates are unable to secure employment due to competition and, on the other hand, the Punjab government is consciously increasing unemployment by making both genders compete with each other on open merit.

Secondly, MA (Education) has been considered a professional degree due to which MA (Education) degree holders are not eligible to apply as secondary school educators (SSE). This is injustice with more than 15,000 MA(Education) degree holders of Punjab.

Moreover, while applying for ESE and SESE the candidates holding MA(Education) degree stand equal to BEd as both the degrees are being awarded five marks. How unjust it is? BEd is merely a one - year programme while MA(Education) is a two - year programme.

Along with this, MS Ed is equal to MA (Education) but MS Ed is being considered an academic as well as professional degree. How apathetic it is! The only dissimilarity between MA(Education) and MS Ed is that the former is of arts and the latter is of science profession.

Thirdly, although Shahbaz Sharif wants the educators' recruitment process to be highly transparent, the problems are still there.

There are five marks for interview, and the candidates having some connections, political or otherwise, get the total five marks, while those who carry no reference hardly get three marks. The two marks disparity counts a great deal while calculating final merit.

The interview biases are being observed on a larger scale.

The chief minister must look into the matter and remove all discrepancies, i.e. consider MA (Education) an academic as well as professional degree; increase marks of MA(Education) in contrast to BEd; consider females not eligible to apply for ESE and SESE in male schools and constitute a central provincial committee that may remove all the disparities of interview marks.