THE Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) is an autonomous body, which has been serving in the education sector since 1992 with the aim of making education accessible to the marginalised communities of rural Sindh. However, after a lapse of almost three decades, the real situation is entirely different from the statistical data being shown on the SEF website.

Teachers, who are the major component of any education system, are the biggest sufferers when it comes to the SEF. They take lowest salaries on a quarterly basis. Teachers working in SEF schools are dedicated and loyal to their profession, but their salaries remain pathetically low.

I have been serving in two SEF units as the academic head. Salaries in these schools are between Rs6,000 and Rs15,000, and the highest salary is offered to those who are either the most senior with five years of experience or have a university degree in the relevant field. Teachers across the country are highly paid, but not if they are working with the SEF.

Can anyone in these testing economic times make ends meet with a salary of Rs6,000 or even Rs15,000? Women teachers are in majority in these schools who serve in order to feed their children. But their sufferings are ignored by the SEF management.

According to the hierarchy of these schools, there is an operator who is head of everything, and the SEF provides quarterly funds (subsidy) to the individual for disbursement. This operator then decides the salaries and other expenses of the school. Also, there is no employee retention policy for SEF teachers.

The school operator always threatens the teachers who even mildly talk about the need for some level of justice to prevail. The school operators and SEF programme officers put pressure on such teachers, saying they would fire them any time without any notice.

These are the ground realities in this autonomous body. The SEF management, which has designed the programme, is responsible for the meagre salaries of the teachers. It must revise the salaries, and should ensure timely disbursement in line with the relevant rules and regulations. The authorities concerned should take notice of this injustice with SEF teachers.

Zahid Hussain Mirani
Jamshoro

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2022

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