Polls and teachers

Published February 29, 2024

THE recent elections were no different from past exercises when it comes to the lack of respect shown towards public-school teachers who are generally forced to work as polling staff. They were required to report to the designated offices, but were not provided facilities, such as proper covered vehicles to carry election material. Instead, they were made to travel in open pickups and trucks. Teachers have personal and professional dignity, which is the first thing that is compromised during this whole exercise.

Electoral duties are not what the teachers sign up for when they take up employment. They want to contribute to society through their intellectual and academic capacities, not by being bullied around by administrative officials.

Even though they were not hired by the government to serve as polling staff, they are always made to put with harassment and insulting behaviour. To make matters worse, they are asked to travel in open vehicles regardless of weather as if they are nothing more than cattle. There are those who are not provided any transport at all.

The recent elections were my first exposure to the harsh conditions that public school teachers are forced to face in the performance of duties that they are not even willing to perform. The whole experience was frustrating. The higher authorities should look into the matter and arrange volunteer staff for future elections.

Arshia Qazi
Matiari

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2024

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