SWABI: Staff of 40 Working Folks Grammar Schools (WFGS) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has threatened to stop students from taking examinations and closing down the schools if they don’t get their two months unpaid salaries at the earliest.

Speaking to media persons on behalf of the schools’ staff here on Friday, Mehnat Kash Union (MKU) leaders Nihar Ali, Hussain Ahmad and others said the teachers would first hold meetings with the ministers and concerned officials for the purpose, and if their peaceful means didn’t bear fruit then they would protest.

They demanded that the federal government immediately release funds for payment of salaries and meeting other requirements of these schools.

They said children at WFGS had been acquiring best education across the province but a ‘conspiracy’ had been hatched to deprive them of the facility. “About 40,000 children of the workers have been receiving quality education in WFGS for years but unavailability of funds has hampered their functioning,” said Nihar Ali.

He said the parents were told by the officials of the Workers Welfare Board (WWB), the regulator of these schools, to pay the transport fee which would be returned to them later on. But, he added, the parents had not returned the fee for last five months.

“The transporters have also threatened to stop picking and dropping our children if they don’t get money on time,” said Hussain Ahmad.

Under the 18th amendment of the constitution, the WWB has been devolved, but there is no mechanism yet on who will pay funds to the board.

They demanded that Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar should realise the grave situation and order release of funds to WFGSs.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2016