CHAKWAL: Though she has a master’s in Health and Physical Education, 33-year-old Noshaba Irum from the Karhan Village near Chakwal, says she has not been able to find a suitable job and that she now has no choice but to apply for the post of a naib qasid, or a peon, in the Education Department of Chakwal.

Noshaba is separated from her husband and is living with her parents along with her young son.

“I need a job because I have to provide for my son as well. Though I have applied for the post of a peon, I am sure I will not be given the job because you need support from politicians to be given such jobs”, she said, adding that the village councillor has no time for locals and their problems though it is his duty to bring up such issues with local politicians.

Like Noshaba, 2,000 graduates and those with post-graduate degrees recently applied for the 653 class IV posts which were announced in the Education Department of Chakwal, for which the department received a total of 23,000 applications. This may be an indicator of how hard it is for those with bachelors and post-graduate degrees to find jobs.

More than 9,000 candidates gathered at a school in Chakwal on Sunday to be interviewed. There was even a stampede on the day which left two of the candidates injured and the police had to be called in to control the situation.

Talking to Dawn, Noshaba said that all the 653 class IV posts, including those for peons, gardeners, drivers and lab attendants, are filled on the recommendation of local politicians and that she will not be given the post because she does not have political support.

Sources privy to the developments told Dawn that though interviews were conducted in the district for the jobs advertised and a formal list of selected candidates is yet to be announces, the interviews were just a formality and that all the posts had been filled well before.

“Recruitments against class IV posts are always made on a political basis,” an official at the Education Department told Dawn.

Another candidate, Amna Firdaus of Sutwal, said that she also has a masters’ degree and has applied for the post of a peon as well.

She said that her husband was not educated and that he looked after their two cows, which did not earn enough to support their family which is why she had applied for the job.

However, Amna said that she does not expect to be selected.

“It is not likely that I will get the job because I do not know any local influential locals,” she said, adding that she had been trying for a job since 2007 when she was done with her masters.

A resident of Pinjain, Adeela Nazar said she has a masters’ degree in English Literature and has applied for the post of lab attendant, which is a BPS 4 job. She said that her degree was meant to secure her a job in BPS grade 17.

“I applied for the post of a lab attendant because it is better than to just sit at home,” she said, adding that she had also passed a National Testing Service test for the post of an educator but had not been hired.

Also applying for the post of a naib qasid, Israr Hussein said he has a masters’ degree in Health and Physical Education.

“I don’t have the means to start up my own business and though I have been trying, I cannot seem to get a suitable job. I had no choice but to apply for this job”, he said.

MNA Sardar Mumtaz Khan Tammam told Dawn that many of the candidates had come to him for help in being appointed.

“For posts above those of clerks are somehow filled according to merit, but merit does not matter when it comes to the lower posts,” he said.

When asked, Executive District Officer Education Dr Ghulam Murtaza said that because they could not find jobs, over qualified candidates had also applied for the class IV posts and that most of the candidates had applied simultaneously to all four posts in the hopes that they will be selected for one.

However, Dr Murtaza maintained that the appointments will be made on merit.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2016

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