LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has accorded approval to recruitment of college teacher interns (CTIs) in the public sector colleges against 5,000 vacant seats across the province.

These will include recruitment on 400 seats against the quota reserved for minorities and differently-abled persons.

A summary of the Higher Education Department (HED) has been approved by the chief minister. The CTIs showing satisfactory performance during the current academic year will be given an opportunity again but this would not mean an extension to their period of employment.

The CM has directed the administrative departments to devise a mechanism for monitoring CTIs’ performance and also sought recommendations regarding formulation of a comprehensive policy for their recruitment for academic year 2020-21. He said the move would remove teachers’ shortage in colleges. The recruitment process would be transparent and merit-based as the government was working to improve the standard of colleges.

A document acquired by Dawn states the HED is maintaining 779 colleges in the province with 23,235 approved seats of teaching cadre, out of which 7,829 seats are currently vacant. This shortage of teaching faculty is managed through induction of the CTIs during each academic year on an interim basis.

“In order to meet the shortfall of teaching faculty in colleges, it is imperative to hire the services of the CTIs. Out of the 7,829 seats, the CTIs are to be hired against 5,000 seats after rationalisation of total faculty requirements in all districts,” says the document.

A senior official of the department told Dawn that the CM held a meeting with Minister for Higher Education Yasir Humayun Sarfraz and directed him to review the terms and conditions for hiring the CTIs to attract quality teachers. He directed review and increase in the monthly stipend of Rs30,000 offered during 2018-19.

Besides, the CM said, the CTIs should be provided medical allowance, their services should be made extendable beyond one year on the basis of their performance and they should be provided mechanism of appeal for any grievance against the college principal.

Later, the HED officials reviewed the terms and conditions for engagement of the CTIs in 2019-20 and recommended to raise monthly stipend to Rs45,000 a month.

The CTIs would be hired against 5,000 vacant posts of lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors to overcome the shortage of teaching staff. As many as 250 seats were reserved for the candidates from minorities and 150 for PWDs.

The HED would issue an experience certificate to the CTIs after successful completion of their tenures.

The CM also directed to follow conditions of policy regarding advertisement, selection committee, selection criteria and qualification adopted by the department. The government allocated funds amounting to Rs2,025m for the CTIs.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2019