LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to recruit 30,000 visiting teachers for schools under the first phase to meet the shortage of teaching staff.

The School Education Department (SED) is facing a shortage of 115,000 teachers in the province. The major recruitment of schoolteachers was last made in 2018 during the PML-N government and around 400 to 500 appointments were made during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s tenure only in two districts of Murree and Mianwali.

The PTI government also changed the recruitment procedure and made it mandatory to conduct a PPSC-like examination.

The PTI government also introduced College Teaching Interns (CTIs) to fill the vacancies in colleges and the incumbent government was also advised to introduce CTIs to meet the shortage. The fresh graduates were allowed to apply for the post of CTIs and they were paid Rs25,000 salary per month.

However, SED sources said the current government was trying to hire the 30,000 schoolteachers on a visiting basis and they would be given salaries per lecture.

The government would release additional funds to school councils for the salaries of the visiting teachers and the councils would also generate funds for meeting the needs of the schools expenditure.

Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) General Secretary Rana Liaqat told Dawn that the government should start recruitment in the school department and should appoint teachers on a permanent basis to meet the shortage.

He said there was around 115,000 schoolteachers shortage in the province and it could only be addressed by recruiting teachers on a permanent basis.

He said the visiting teachers would be given salary on daily wage model and it would create additional problems for the schools.

In 2022, the Punjab government had announced a policy offering premature retirement option to all public schoolteachers over 55 years of age after serving for 25 years.

Thousands of teachers applied for premature retirement, but their applications were not entertained under the new policy. The SED had refused thousands of applications filed by schoolteachers seeking premature retirement in the province.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2024

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