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LAHORE: Activists of Muttahida Mahaz Asataza continued with their sit-in in front of the Punjab Assembly for the third consecutive day on Sunday to press the provincial government for acceptance of their demands while the education department claimed the teachers’ grievances had been redressed.

Since Friday, the Mahaz activists had been demanding provision of timescale, revision of pay scale and the provision of scale 14 to Primary School Teachers (PST), scale 16 to Elementary School Teacher (EST) and 17 to Secondary School Teacher (SST).

Mahaz Chairman Tariq Mahmood and other leaders said they had rejected the government’s offer to hold a dialogue with the schools department secretary because of his anti-teacher and anti-education policies.

“How can we trust the secretary who has been victimising the protesting teachers?” a protester told Dawn on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Punjab Association of Subject Specialists President Rana Atta Muhammad said in a statement that the protesters were in fact activists of a political party, having vested interest.

The Punjab government has already accepted all the demands of the teachers during a meeting with representatives of Senior Staff Association Punjab, supreme council of Punjab Teachers Union, Headmasters Association of Punjab and Punjab Association of Subject Specialists, he said.

“There is no justification for protest when the government has also issued a notification regarding acceptance of teachers’ demands,” said Rana Atta.

Sit-in continues in front of Punjab Assembly

The deputy secretary (general) of the schools department said out of over 370,000 teachers, some 30 to 40 had been pressing for their demands which had already been accepted through a notification SO (SE-III) 5-61/2015 dated May 6.

Quoting the notification, the deputy secretary said all EDOs (education) had been directed to submit the working papers for in-service promotion of the PSTs and ESTs before the DPC and ensure their promotion before May 31. They have also been directed to convene the DPC meetings for the betterment of teachers before May 31.

About the casual leaves, the notification reads the immediate controlling officers (BS-16 and above) may sanction two casual leaves to the teachers per month in case of emergency. About the revision of pay scales, the notification interestingly reads: “The revision of pay scale is related to the finance department.”

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2015

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