Education Watch

May 13, 2016

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Teachers want hiring allowance in salaries

Schoolteachers face great hardships in getting hiring allowance. —Photo by Khurram Amin
Schoolteachers face great hardships in getting hiring allowance. —Photo by Khurram Amin

Due to the complicated process of the disbursement of hiring allowances, employees of Islamabad’s educational institutions have been demanding that the federal government make the hiring allowance a part of their salaries, which has not yet been done.

According to some teachers, those who have not been allotted government accommodation were entitled to either house rent or a hiring allowance.

Rent is 45pc of the basic salary, which is significantly lower than a hiring allowance. Therefore, some teachers have opted to receive a hiring allowance, which is a complicated process because teachers have to clear their cheques from the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) and the Federal Directorate of Education.

During the process, teachers are faced with several problems, including red tape. For example, in order to fulfil all the formalities, in some cases teachers have to prepare a fake affidavit. Teachers do not get the allowance each month, with some being given the amount for six months and others for a year at a time.

“I don’t understand why the allowance is not made part of our salaries,” said Malik Amir, a school teacher.

Until recently, teachers in schools and colleges run by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) had to go through a complicated process in order to get their hiring allowance. After receiving many complaints, the FDE started sending the amount from last year on to heads of schools and colleges to be given to teachers.

This process is also not free of loopholes. Recently, a clerk is said to have withdrawn the hiring allowance worth Rs1.1 million belonging to five teachers at the Islamabad Model School for Girls in Kot Hathial, Bhara Kahu. He is said to have used fake signatures and colluded with FDE and AGPR officers.

“The accused clerk has been suspended and we found several leaks in the case. Justice will be done,” said Ghulam Dastagir, the principal of IMCB G-7, who is investigating the matter.

Talking to Dawn, FDE Finance and Budget Director Tahir Mustafa Khosa agreed with the teachers’ demand that the hiring allowance should be made part of their salaries.

Hardware project exhibition

Students showcase their projects at the exhibition. —Dawn
Students showcase their projects at the exhibition. —Dawn

Students of the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology’s (SZABIST) BSCS programme hosted a hardware project exhibition to showcase their projects and garnered appreciation from their fellow students, faculty members and guests.

One of the students had made an obstacle avoiding robot while another had made a mobile phone based control device. Also part of the exhibition was a dual-tone multi-frequency signalling (DTMF) based automatic car control system and clap switches.

According to the university’s spokesperson, the exhibition aimed to highlight the usefulness of ideas coming to reality. He said the projects were a great achievement by the students and the equipment they made was appreciated by everyone who attended the exhibition.

SZABIST chancellor Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho and campus head Khusro Pervaiz Khan also commended the student’s projects.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2016