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Teachers may have rejoiced too soon

May 29, 2012

ISLAMABAD, May 29: Some 250 Junior Lady Teachers (JLT) of the government schools of the city celebrated their promotion on the orders of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as Senior School Teachers (SST) last week but may end up ruing the day like their 47 colleagues who were ignored for the promotion.

Fears are that the Auditor General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) may object that the lucky ones have been wrongly promoted as the SST post is meant for those teaching middle classes while they teach, and will continue to teach, primary classes.

Even otherwise their upgradation notification, available with Dawn, lists some JLTs who have left the job or had already been enjoying the BPS-17 payscale of SST to which the JLTs have been promoted.

“JLTs are not secondary school teachers. They teach the primary sections of model colleges. Their proper promotion would have been as Senior Lady Teacher (SLT) but they have been promoted as SSTs,” said Ms Farzana Akram, a representative of JLTs.This confusion arose because the directive from the prime minister’s secretariat – that followed a court directive to Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) – mentioned that the JLTs be promoted as SSTs.

That, however, was not the only confusion.

“Two different dates - 1st January 2011 and 1st January 2012 - are mentioned for the promotion in the same notification for the same batch of JLTs,” a JLT noted, warning that “it will affect our seniority”. However, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) looked more keen on the promoted JLTs throwing a thanks-giving party on May 24 than removing their confusion and fears.

“No doubt the court compelled the administration do the rightful but the improper nomenclature used may raise problems, especially in AGPR where the title of the post is extremely important while fixing the pay and emoluments,” a JLT observed. Other problems concern the cases like a JLT employed at Islamabad Model College, F-11/1, who has been on study leave for a year but has been upgraded.

“If the Departmental Selection Committee really met as the notification claimed, how it ignored the rule that says an officer on leave loses his/her seniority,” asked a teacher.

Meanwhile, the 47 unlucky JLTs sulk why they were denied the one time promotion announced by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on November 8, 2010 for all the teachers working under the FDE. They claim the CADD officials wrongly interpreted the prime minister’s directives and added different conditions to limit the number of promotions.

“While announcing the upgradation of teachers, the prime minister did not say that only those who had completed three-year service would be upgraded,” said a bitter promotion loser. Even some JLTs who met the three-year-service criteria set by the FDE and the CADD high-ups were missed.

“We are in a state of agony. The notification is ambiguous. It neither contains the names of the institutions where the promoted teachers are working nor their seniority and the date of joining the service,” complained one.

“We are being told that our ACRs (annual confidential report) had adverse remarks. If it was so, the remarks should have been conveyed in time for us to make amends. That makes the explanation flimsy,” one teacher said.

Though jittery, the teachers not promoted still cling to hope.  “We are desperately waiting for the promise made by the chief executive of the state to materialise in our case too,” she said.

CADD secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi while talking to Dawn said he was not aware of the issues of JLTs because other officers had prepared the notification. “If there is any confusion, it will be resolved,” he promised, inviting the grumpy teachers to visit him.—Ikram Junaidi