LANDI KOTAL: Service books of 40 schoolteachers, including females, in Khyber Agency are missing after these were submitted to a teachers’ promotion committee in February this year for preparing the seniority list.

Requesting anonymity for fear of disciplinary action by the directorate of education, Fata, a number of affected teachers from Bara, Jamrud and Landi Kotal told Dawn that they were denied their service books despite repeated pleas to the agency education office in Jamrud.

The affected teachers accused the agency education officer of forming the controversial committee whose members represented two rival groups of the teachers union.

The committee was formed in line with the upgradation policy announced by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The affected teachers said that despite their reservations over the committee, schoolteachers were asked to submit their service books for finalising the seniority list.

Though the upgradation process of teachers throughout Fata was abruptly suspended by the Fata secretariat on some legal and technical grounds in June, the service books were not returned to the teachers in Khyber Agency, said the affected teachers.

When contacted, AEO Ateequr Rehman conceded to Dawn that some of the record books were missing, and instead accused the assistant agency education officers (AAEOs) of Bara and Jamrud and AAEO (female) of intentionally withholding the service books of teachers.

Mr Rehman alleged that these officers were now demanding Rs50,000 from teachers whose service books were missing.

Naseer Afridi, head of the scrutiny committee, said they were provided with service books of all the teachers, but insisted that these were taken back by the AAEOs.

Khalid Afridi, former president of Landi Kotal teachers association, also accused the scrutiny committee of demanding Rs1,500 from teachers in order to plead their cases for promotion.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2014