FAISALABAD: Absence of daycare centres at government schools is making it hard for female teachers to continue their jobs.

A recent notice to a teacher to explain why her baby was with her in the classroom has sent a wave of concern among teachers.

Issuing an explanation letter to Maqsood Bibi of the Girls Elementary School, Chak 221-GB, Samundri, the deputy district education officer (DDEO), Samundri, said: “During the visit of the AEO concerned on Monday it was observed that you (Maqsood Bibi) were having child in your class.”

The teacher was asked to visit the office of DDEO in person to explain her position in writing.

“In case of failure, a strict action under the relevant rules may be recommended against you,” the letter warned the teacher.

Muhammad Islam, a schoolteacher, said the department had made it difficult for the women teachers to serve in small towns and rural areas. He said it was the responsibility of the teachers’ associations to raise such issues to stop harassment.

“A couple of days ago I saw a picture on the Twitter in which a female officer in KP was performing her duty by holding her baby in the police station. He said the police officer was appreciated by the officials but a teacher here was being penalised.

Most of the schools in rural and urban areas do not have daycare centers where teachers could drop their infants during school hours.

Punjab Senior Staff Association President Hafiz Nasir told Dawn that women teachers were sacrificing a lot to raise the next generation but they were being harassed on petty issues. He said the government must allocate funds for daycare centers at schools where females were serving.

The chief executive officer of Faisalabad Education Authority, Muhammad Ali Sian, was contacted for his comments but he did not respond.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2021

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